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Nfatc4 gene polymorphism and aerobic performance in athletes

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I.I. Ahmetov, D.V. Popov, Yu.V. Shikhova, S.S. Missina, O.A. Sarayev, O.L. Vinogradova, V.A. Rogozkin


Nuclear factor of activated T cells C4 gene (NFATC4) encodes transcription factor which regulates cardiac and skeletal muscle metabolism. The aim of the study was to investigate allelic distribution of NFATC4 gene Gly160Ala polymorphism in endurance-oriented athletes (n = 549) and controls (n = 1057), and to find interrelation between genotypes and physiological parameters in rowers (n = 90). Genotyping was performed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Physiological parameters were evaluated by PM 3 Rower Ergometer and MetaMax 3B Gas Analyzer. The frequency of NFATC4 Gly allele was significantly higher in athletes than in controls (51.5% vs. 43.7%; p < 0.0001), and increased with the growth of skills (sub-elite athletes: 36.7%–48.5%; highly elite athletes: 60.6%–62.5%). Furthermore, NFATC4 Gly allele was associated with high values of aerobic performance (when VO2max and AT in % of VO2max were measured). Thus, NFATC4 gene Gly160Ala polymorphism is associated with aerobic performance of athletes and plays an important role in sports selection
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