PPARD CC and ACTN3 RR genotype prevalence among elite soccer players

Yoav Meckel, Alon Eliakim, Dan Nemet, Nir Levin, Sigal Ben-Zaken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Soccer is a complex sport in which players are required to perform variety of aerobic and anaerobic activities. The purpose of the study was to explore aerobic (PPARD CC) and anaerobic (ACTN3 RR) performance-related genotype frequencies among young soccer players and compare to those of sprinters/jumpers (S/J), long distance runners (LDR) and controls. Methods: Genomic DNA was extracted from buccal epithelial cells of 170 national level athletes (60 soccer players, 51 S/J, 59 LDR) and 51 non-athletic controls. Genotypes were determined using Taqman allelic discrimination assay. Results: Soccer players had non-significant lower frequency (15%) of the PPARD 294CC genotype compared to LDR (19%), but higher compared to S/J (10%). ACTN3 R577X genotype and allele frequencies of soccer players (28%) were not significantly different from those of S/J (39%)and LDR athletes (20%). Conclusions: Soccer players do not have a noticeable or clear genotype tendency compared to S/J and LDR. This may suggest that soccer players rely more on diverse physiological qualities as well as other factors that are required in the game, rather than on a single physiological attribute. It should be also noticed that the different physiological demands for diverse positional roles in soccer may contribute to the results’ heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalScience and Medicine in Football
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2 Apr 2020


  • Genetic variants
  • endurance athletes
  • physiological demands
  • sprint/power


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