The relationship between CA repeat polymorphism of the IGF-1 gene and the structure of motor skills in young athletes

  • Krzysztof Karpowicz University School of Physical Education, Poznań, Poland Department of the Theory of Sport,
  • Katarzyna Krych Department of Biology and Environmental Protection, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland,
  • Małgorzata Karpowicz Department of Team Sports Games, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poland,
  • Witold Nowak Laboratory of Molecular Biology Techniques, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland
  • Piotr Gronek Department of Gymnastics and Dance, University School of Physical Education in Poznań, Poznań, Poland


            The map of candidate genes that can potentially affect physical fitness becomes larger every year, and that are associated with such aspects as respiratory and cardiovascular stability; body build and composition – especially muscle mass and strength; carbohydrate and lipid metabolism; response to training; and exercise intolerance. The aim of this study was the analysis of the determination by CA repeat polymorphism of the P1 promoter of the IGF1 gene the structure of motor skills in the two groups of polish young athletes in 2011-2013.

            In this study, 350 young sportsmen representing different sports disciplines were examined (age = 15.5 ± 0.5 years), by genotyping the IGF1 gene and determining the structure of motor skills using the International Physical Fitness Test (IPFT) battery. Analysis of the multiple stepwise regression, used to determine the impact of the investigated motor skills on the indicator of the overall physical fitness, measured by the total score of the International Physical Fitness Test (IPFT), shows some regularity related to the character of the IGF1 gene polymorphism. It can be concluded that in the case of two groups of young boys athletes practicing various sports disciplines (kinds of physical exercise) have similar associations between CA repeat polymorphism of the P1 promoter of the IGF1 gene and the level of motor effects. Our results suggest that this polymorphism may be a genetic marker of the physical performance phenotype. We demonstrated that CA repeat polymorphism of the P1 promoter of the IGF1 gene in the groups who were homozygous and noncarriers was associated with strength predispositions. In the group who were heterozygous speed-strength aptitudes


Arends N, Johnston L, Hokken-Koelega A, Van Duijn C, de Ridder M, Savage M, Clark A (2002) Polymorphism in the IGF-I gene: clinical relevance for short children born small for gestational age (SGA). J Clin Endocrinol Metabol 87:2720-2724.

Bamman MM, Shipp JR, Jiang J, Gower BA, Hunter GR, Goodman A, McLafferty CL Jr, Urban RJ (2001) Mechanical load increase muscle IGF-I and androgen receptor mRNA concentrations in humans. Am J Physiol-Endocrinol Metabol 280: E383-E390.

Ben-Zaken S, Meckel Y, Dror N, Nemet D, Eliakin A (2014) IGF-I and IGF-I receptor polymorphisms among elite swimmers. Pediatric Exerc Sci 26: 470-476.

Ben-Zaken S, Meckel Y, Lidor R, Nemet D, Eliakim A (2013) Genetic profiles and prediction of the success of young athletes transition from middle- to long-distance runs: An exploratory study. Pediatr Exerc Sci 25: 435-447.

Ben-Zaken S, Meckel Y, Nemet D, Eliakim A (2013) Can IGF-I polymorphism affect power and endurance athletic performance? Growth Horm IGF Res 23: 175-178.

Bray MS, Hagberg JM, Pérusse L, Rankinen T, Roth SM, Wolfarth B, Bouchard C (2009) The human gene map for performance and health-related fitness phenotypes: the 2006-2007 update. Med Sci Sports Ex 41: 35-73.

Eliakim A, Brasel JA, Mohan S (1996) Physical fitness, endurance training, and the growth hormone-insulin like growth factor I system in adolescent females. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 81: 3986-3992.

Eliakim A, Nemet D (2010) Exercise training, physical fitness and the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor-1 axis and cytokine balance. Med Sport Sci 55: 128–140.

Farfel V. Physiology of Sport. [in Russian] Fizkultura i Sport 1960, Moskva.

Filus A, Zdrojewicz Z (2014) Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) – structure and the role in the human body. Pediatr Endocrinol Diabetes Metabol 22:161-169.

Fletcher O, Gibson L, Johnson N, Altmann DR, Holly JM, Ashworth A, Peto J, Silva Idos S (2005) Polymorphisms and circulating levels in the insulin-like growth factor system and risk of breast cancer: a systematic review. Cancer Epidem Biomar 14: 2-19.

Gronek P, Holdys J (2013) Genes and physical fitness. Trends Sport Sci 1: 16-29.

Gronek P., Holdys J., Konarski J., Kryściak J, Wolc A (2013) ACE I/D genotype in professional field hockey players. Trends Sport Sci 1: 36-40.

Gronek P, Wieliński D, Gronek J (2015) Genetic and non-genetic determinants of aggression in combat sports. Open Life Sci 10: 7-18.

Hameed M, Lange KH, Andersen JL, Schjerling P, Kjaer M, Harridge SD, Goldspink G (2003) The effect of recombinant human growth hormone and resistance training on IGF-I mRNA expression in the muscles of elderly men. J Physiol 555.1: 231-240.

Hand BD, Kostek MC, Ferrell RE, Delmonico MJ, Douglass LW, Roth SM, Hagberg JM, Hurley BF (2007) Influence of promoter region variants of insulin-like growth factor pathway genes on the strength-training response of muscle phenotypes in older adults. J Appl Physiol 103:1678-1687.

Harrela M, Koistinen H, Kaprio J, Lehtovirta M, Tuomilehto J, Eriksson J, Toivanen L, Koskenvuo M, Leinonen P, Koistinen R, Seppälä M (1996) Genetic and environmental components of interindividual variation in circulating levels of IGF-I, IGF-II, IGFBP-I, and IGFBP-3. J Clin Invest 98: 2612-2625.

Hernandez W, Grenade C, Santos E, Bonilla C, Ahaghotu C, Kittles R (2007) IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 gene variants influence on serum levels and prostate cancer risk in African-Americans. Carcinogenesis 28: 2154-2159.

Holdys J, Kryściak J, Stanisławski D, Gronek P (2011) ACE I/D polymorphism in athletes of various sports disciplines. Hum Mov 12: 223-231.

Jernstrom H, Deal C, Wilkin F, Chu W, Tao Y, Majeed N (2001) Genetic and nongenetic factors associated with variation of plasma levels of insulin-like growth factor-I and insulin-like growth factor-binding protein- 3 in healthy premenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biom Prev 10: 377–384.

Jung H, Lee N, Park S (2016) Interaction of ACTN3 gene polymorphism and muscle imbalance effects on kinematic efficiency in combat sports athletes. J Exerc Nutrition Biochem 20:1-7. doi: 10.20463/jenb.2016.

Karlowatz RJ, Scharhag J, Rahnenführer J, Schneider U, Jakob E, Kindermann W, Zang KD (2011) Polymorphisms in the IGF1 signalling pathway including the myostatin gene are associated with left ventricular mass in male athletes. Br J Sports Med 45: 36-41. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2008.050567

Kim SW, Lajara R, Rotwein P (1991) Structure and function of a human insulin-like growth factor-I gene promoter. Mol Endocrinol 5: 1964–1972, doi: 10.1210/mend-5-12-1964.

Kostka T, Arsac L, Patricot M, Berthouze S, Lacour J, Bonnefoy M (2000) Leg extensor power and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate, insulin-like growth factor-I and testosterone in healthy active elderly people. Eur J Appl Physiol 82: 83-90.

Maciejewska-Karłowska A (2013) Polymorphic variants of the PPAR (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor) genes: relevance for athletic performance. Trends Sport Sci 1:5-15

Mukherjee A, Alzhanov D, Rotwein P (2016) Defining human insulin-like growth factor I gene regulation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 311:E519-29. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00212.2016.

Neri Serneri GG, Boddi M, Modesti PA, Cecioni I, Coppo M, Padeletti L, Michelucci A, Colella A, Galanti G (2001) Increased cardiac sympathetic activity and insulin-like growth factor-I formation are associated with physiological hypertrophy in athletes. Circ Res 23: 977-982.

Orysiak J, Sitkowski D, Zmijewski P, Malczewska-Lenczowska J, Cieszczyk P, Zembron-Lacny A, Pokrywka A. Overrepresentation of the ACTN3 XX genotype in elite canoe and kayak paddlers (2015) J Strength Cond Res 29:1107-12. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000717.

Philippou A, Maridaki M, Halapas A, Koutsilieris M. The role of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in skeletal muscle physiology. In Vivo 2007: 21(1), 45-54.

Pilicz S, Charzewski J, ed. Scoring physical fitness of Polish youth by International Physical Test. The criteria for measuring the capacity of the organism by the Cooper test. [in Polish] AWF, Warszawa, 2004.

Pitsiladis Y, Wang G, Wolfarth B, Scott R, Fuku N, Mikami E, He Z, Fiuza-Luces C, Eynon N, Lucia A (2013) Genomics of elite sporting performance: what little we know and necessary advances. Br J Sports Med 47:550–555.

Rosandich TP (1999) International physical fitness test. Sport J 2: 34-45.

Rotwein P, Bichell DP, Kikuchi K (1993) Multifactorial regulation of IGF-I gene expression. Mol Reprod Dev 35: 358–363, doi: 10.1002/mrd.1080350407.

Rupert JL (2003) The search for genotypes that underline human performance phenotypes. Comp Biochem Physiol Part A 136: 191-203.

Loos RJF, Hagberg JM, Pérusse L,. Roth SM, Sarzynski MA, Wolfarth B, Rankinen T, Bouchard C (2015) Advances in Exercise, Fitness, and Performance Genomics in 2014. Med Sci Sports Exerc 47: 1105–1112.doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000645

Rutkowska-Kucharska A, Bober T (1986) Of examining the physical coordination. (in) Motor potential of the man. (ed.) T. Bober [in Polish]. AWF, Warszawa pp 116–143.

Scheinowitz M, Kessler-Icekson G, Freimann S, Zimmermann R, Schaper W, Golomb E, Savion N, Eldar M (2003) Short- and long-term swimming exercise training increases myocardial insulin-like growth factor-I gene expression. Growth Horm IGF Res 13: 19-25. doi: 10.1016/S1096-6374(02)00137-5

Seifert L, De Jesus K, Komar J, Ribeiro J, Abraldes JA, Figueiredo P, Vilas-Boas JP, Fernandes RJ (2016) Behavioural variability and motor performance: Effect of practice specialization in front crawl swimming. Hum Mov Sci 15:141-150. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2016.03.007.

Singh MA, Ding W, Manfredi TJ, Solares GS, O'Neill EF, Clements KM, Ryan ND, Kehayias JJ, Fielding RA, Evans WJ (1999) Insulin-like growth factor I in skeletal muscle after weight-lifting exercise in frail elders. Am J Physiol 277: E135-E143.

Stanisz A (2006) An exchange rate statistics using STATISTICA PL on the examples of medicine. [in Polish] Vol. I, II, III. StatSoft Polska, Kraków.

Starosta W (1993) Motor coordination of the man. (in:) Human movement - the structure, the changeability and conditioning. (ed.) W. Osiński. [in Polish] Monografie 310, AWF, Poznań, pp 81–120.

Starosta W (1987) The importance of research of motor coordination for sports improvement of advanced athletes. [in Polish]. Kult Fiz. 7: 3-4.

Szopa J, Mleczko E, Żak S (2000) The basis of anthropomotorics. [in Polish] PWN, Warszawa.

Thompson WR, Binder-Macleod SA (2006) Association of genetic factors with selected measures of physical performance. Phys Ther 86: 585-591.

Tucker R, Collins M (2012) What makes champions? A review of the relative contribution of genes and training to sporting success. Br J Sports Med 46:555-56I. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2011-090548.

Vaessen N, Heutink P, Janssen JA, Witteman JC, Testers L, Hofman A, Lamberts SW, Oostra BA, Pols HA, Van Duijn CM (2001) A polymorphism in the gene for IGF-I. Functional properties and risk for type 2 diabetes and myocardial infarction. Diabetes 50: 637-642.

Vaeyens R, Lenoir M, Williams AM, Philippaerts RM (2008) Talent identification and development programmes in sport : current models and future directions. Sports Med 38:703-714. doi; 10.2165/00007256-200838090-00001.

Weber J, May P (1989) Abundant class of human DNA polymorphisms which can be typed using the polymerase chain reaction. Am J Hum Genet 44: 388-396.

Widdowson WM, Healy ML, Sönksen PH, James Gibney J (2009) The physiology of growth hormone and sport. Growth Horm IGF Res 19: 308–319.

Wong HL, Delellis K, Probst-Hensch N, Koh WP, Van Den Berg D, Lee HP, Yu MC, Ingles SA (2005) A new single nucleotide polymorphism in the insulin-like growth factor I regulatory region associates with colorectal cancer risk in Singapore Chinese. Cancer Epidem Biomar 14: 144-151.

Zhai G, Rivadeneira F, Houwing-Duistermaat JJ, Meulenbelt I, Bijkerk C, Hofman A, Van Meurs JB, Uitterlinden AG, Pols HA, Slagboom PE, Van Duijn CM (2004) Insulin-like growth factor I gene promoter polymorphism, collagen type II & 1 (COL2A1) gene, and the prevalence of radiographic osteoarthritis: the Rotterdam Study. Annu Rheumatic Dis 63: 544-548.