Evaluation of ACE gene I/D polymorphism in Iranian elite athletes


1 Department of Genetics, Medical School, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran

2 Department of Physiology, Medical School, Semnan University of Medical Sciences, Semnan, Iran

3 Department of Genetics, Medical School, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences; Medical Genetics Center of Genome, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is an important gene, which is associated with the successful physical activity. The ACE gene has a major polymorphism (I/D) in intron 16 that determines its plasma and tissue levels. In this study, we aimed to determine whether there is an association between this polymorphism and sports performance in our studied population including elite athletes of different sports disciplines. We investigated allele frequency and genotype distribution of the ACE gene in 156 Iranian elite athletes compared to 163 healthy individuals. We also investigated this allele frequency between elite athletes in three functional groups of endurance, power, and mixed sports performances.
Materials and Methods: DNA was extracted from peripheral blood, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was performed on intron 16 of the ACE gene. The ACE genotype was determined for each subject. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS 15, and results were analyzed by Chi-Square test.
Results: There was a significant difference in genotype distribution and allele frequency of the ACE gene in athletes and control group (P = 0.05, P = 0.03, respectively). There was also a significant difference in allele frequency of the ACE gene in 3 groups of athletes with different sports disciplines (P = 0.045). Proportion of the ACE gene D allele was greater in elite endurance athletes (37 high-distance cyclists) than two other groups.
Conclusions: Findings of the present study demonstrated that there is an association between the ACE gene I/D polymorphism and sports performance in Iranian elite athletes.


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