Evidence for ACTN3 as a speed gene in isolated human muscle fibers

Siacia Broos, Laurent Malisoux, Daniel Theisen, Ruud Van Thienen, Monique Ramaekers, Cécile Jamart, Louise Deldicque, Martine A. Thomis, Marc Francaux

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    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose To examine the effect of α-actinin-3 deficiency due to homozygosity for the ACTN3 577Xallele on contractile and morphological properties of fast muscle fibers in non-athletic young men. Methods A biopsy was taken from the vastus lateralis of 4 RR and 4 XX individuals to test for differences in morphologic and contractile properties of single muscle fibers. The cross-sectional area of the fiber and muscle fiber composition was determined using standard immunohistochemistry analyses. Skinned single muscle fibers were subjected to active tests to determine peak normalized force (P0 ), maximal unloading velocity (V0 ) and peak power. A passive stretch test was performed to calculate Young's Modulus and hysteresis to assess fiber visco-elasticity. Results No differences were found in muscle fiber composition. The cross-sectional area of type IIa and IIx fibers was larger in RR compared to XX individuals (P<0.001). P0 was similar in both groups over all fiber types. A higher V0 was observed in type IIa fibers of RR genotypes (P<0.001) but not in type I fibers. The visco-elasticity as determined by Young's Modulus and hysteresis was unaffected by fiber type or genotype. Conclusion The greater V0 and the larger fast fiber CSA in RR compared to XX genotypes likely contribute to enhanced whole muscle performance during high velocity contractions.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere0150594
    JournalPLoS ONE
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016


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