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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 June;56(6):724-30


language: English

Genetic advantageous predisposition of angiotensin converting enzyme id polymorphism in Tunisian athletes

Hela ZNAZEN 1, 2, Aouatef MEJRI 3, Imed TOUHAMI 5, Moktar CHTARA 2, Hajer SIALA 3, Daniel LE GALLAIS 5, Ildus I. AHMETOV 7, Taeib MESSAOUD 3, Karim CHAMARI 6, Nizar SOUSSI 2, 4

1 Faculty of Sciences of Bizerte, Carthage University, Jarzouna, Tunisia; 2 Tunisian Research Laboratory ‘’Sports Performance Optimization’’ National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia; 3 Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Children Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia; 4 Higher Institute of Sport and Physical Education of Ksar Saïd, Univercity of Manouba, Manouba, Tunisia; 5 Dynamics of Cardiovascular Incoherencies Research Laboratory, EA 2992, Montpellier 1 University, Montpellier, France; 6 Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar; 7 Sport Technology Research Centre Volga Region, State Academy of Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism Kazan, Russia


BACKGROUND: ID polymorphism of the gene coding for the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) represents a determining factor in physical and athletic performance in the context of genetic conditioning of sports predisposition. The aim of this study was to show the potential importance of genetic factors in relation to the athletic status in Tunisian athletes.
METHODS: The ACE genotypes were established using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for 282 Tunisian athletes (endurance: N.=149 - power: N.=133), and 211 sedentary volunteers.
RESULTS: No significant difference was found in the ACE genotype distribution between athletes (36% DD, 49% ID, 15% II) and controls (CTR) (39% DD, 46% ID, 15% II; P=0.72). In contrast, a high significant difference between endurance and power groups were noted in genotype and alleles (χ2=10.32, P=0.0057; χ2=4,752, P=0.029, respectively). The elite endurance-athletes (N.=72) possess some inherent genetic advantage predisposing them to superior athletic performances compared to CTR for ACE alleles (χ2=3.51, P=0.06). In addition endurance trained athletes were also significantly different from CTR for ACE genotype (χ2=6.05, P=0.04). Furthermore, a significant difference have been found between elite power-athletes (N.=59) and CTR for ACE alleles (χ2=3.79, P=0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Tunisian athletes exhibit insertion (I) and deletion (D) alleles of the ACE polymorphism associated with a high level of human endurance and power performance, respectively. This genetic background plays an important role in sporting potential and causes some individuals to be better adapted to specific physical training. This should be considered in athlete development to identify which sporting specialties should be trained for Tunisian talent promotion.

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