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Genes and Weightlifting Performance

Kikuchi, Naoki, Moreland, Ethan, Homma, Hiroki, Semenova, Ekaterina A, Saito, Mika, Larin, Andrey K, Kobatake, Naoyuki, Yusupov, Rinat A, Okamoto, Takanobu, Nakazato, Koichi, Williams, Alun G, Generozov, Edward V and Ahmetov, Ildus I (2021) Genes and Weightlifting Performance. Genes, 13 (1). p. 25.

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Abstract

A recent case-control study identified 28 DNA polymorphisms associated with strength athlete status. However, studies of genotype-phenotype design are required to support those findings. The aim of the present study was to investigate both individually and in combination the association of 28 genetic markers with weightlifting performance in Russian athletes and to replicate the most significant findings in an independent cohort of Japanese athletes. Genomic DNA was collected from 53 elite Russian (31 men and 22 women, 23.3 ± 4.1 years) and 100 sub-elite Japanese (53 men and 47 women, 21.4 ± 4.2 years) weightlifters, and then genotyped using PCR or micro-array analysis. Out of 28 DNA polymorphisms, LRPPRC rs10186876 A, MMS22L rs9320823 T, MTHFR rs1801131 C, and PHACTR1 rs6905419 C alleles positively correlated (p < 0.05) with weightlifting performance (i.e., total lifts in snatch and clean and jerk in official competitions adjusted for sex and body mass) in Russian athletes. Next, using a polygenic approach, we found that carriers of a high (6–8) number of strength-related alleles had better competition results than carriers of a low (0–5) number of strength-related alleles (264.2 (14.7) vs. 239.1 (21.9) points; p = 0.009). These findings were replicated in the study of Japanese athletes. More specifically, Japanese carriers of a high number of strength-related alleles were stronger than carriers of a low number of strength-related alleles (212.9 (22.6) vs. 199.1 (17.2) points; p = 0.0016). In conclusion, we identified four common gene polymorphisms individually or in combination associated with weightlifting performance in athletes from East European and East Asian geographic ancestries.

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