Increased prevalence of MnSOD genetic polymorphism in endurance and power athletes

S. Ben-Zaken*, A. Eliakim, D. Nemet, E. Kassem, Y. Meckel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the current study was to determine the frequency distribution of manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) Val-9Ala polymorphism (rs1799725) among 195 trained endurance and power athletes and 240 healthy controls. Genomic DNA was extracted using a standard protocol. Genotyping of the MnSOD Val-9Ala polymorphism was performed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results showed a higher proportion of the Val/Ala and Ala/Ala genotype, and a lower proportion of Val/Val genotype, in the athletes group compared with that of the controls. The Ala allele frequency was significantly higher (p < 0.001) in the athletes group (46%) compared with that in the control (29%). Interestingly, there was no difference between the endurance and power athletes. In addition, the frequency of Ala/Ala genotype was significantly higher (p < 0.05) among top (international and Olympic-level) athletes (29%) compared with that among national-level endurance and power athletes (17%). We conclude that 1) the Ala allele is more frequent in athletes than in controls; and 2) the higher frequency of the Ala allele was noted in both endurance and power athletes compared with that in controls, suggesting that the positive association between the Ala allele and athletic performance may be related to ROS-related angiogenesis, mitochondrial biosynthesis, and muscle hypertrophy, and not to MnSOD aerobic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1002-1008
Number of pages7
JournalFree Radical Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Athletes
  • Endurance
  • Genetic polymorphism
  • MnSOD
  • Power


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