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Muscles Ligaments Tendons J. 2016 Sep 17;6(2):188-192. eCollection 2016 Apr-Jun.

Elastin: a possible genetic biomarker for more severe ligament injuries in elite soccer. A pilot study.

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SM Genomics, Barcelona Science Park, Barcelona, Spain.
FC Barcelona Medical Services, FIFA Medical Center of Excellence, Barcelona, Spain.
FIFA Medical Center of Excellence, Centre Orhopedique Santy, Lyon, France.
Department of Musculoskeletal Disorders Faculty of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry, University of Salerno, Salerno, Italy; Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.



The study of new genetic biomarkers in genes related to connective tissue repair and regeneration may help to identify individuals with greater predisposition to injury, who may benefit from targeted preventive measures, and those who require longer recovery time following a muscle, ligament or tendon injury. The present study investigated whether single nucleotide polymorphisms of the Elastin gene could be related to MCL injury.


60 top class football players were studied to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms for the Elastin (ELN) gene using Allelic Discrimination analysis. Each player was followed for 7 seasons, and each MCL injury was noted.


Ligament injury rate, severity and recovery time are related to specific genotypes observed in the elastin gene, especially the ELN-AA (16 MCL) and the ELN-AG (3 MCL). Players with the ELN-GG genotype sustained no MCL injury during the 7 seasons of the study.


The identification of polymorphisms in the ELN gene may be used as a novel tool to better define an athlete's genotype, and help to plan training and rehabilitation programmes to prevent or minimize MCL ligament injuries, and optimize the therapeutic and rehabilitation process after soft tissue injuries, and manage the workloads during trainings and matches.


SNP; elastin; genetic biomarker; injury prevention; medial collateral ligament injury; workload

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