Is there a bodybuilding gene? The affects of MSTN.

Created by: Christopher Collins

MSTN is a gene that makes instructions for producing the protein myostatin, a protein that is part of the transforming growth factor beta family (TGFβ). The TGFβ family of proteins control the growth of tissues in the body, myostatin is found nearly exclusively in the skeletal muscles where it is active before and after birth. The protein actually controls skeletal growth by restraining it, preventing muscles becoming excessively large. Current research that surrounds myostatin is based around its potential treatment in muscle wasting disorders, animals that have mutations in the encoding gene MSTN show greater muscle mass, strength and in some circumstances reduced bodyfat, which can be known as myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy.

This study aimed to see the prevalence of mutations in the male bodybuilder population (n = 92) and if having a mutation had any affect on their muscle size and/or muscle performance. The study which looked at mutation prevalence in rs1805086, arm circumference, pull-up max and push-up max.

The results show that 17% (16) of the subject group had one mutation (AG), 83% (76) had the common outcome (AA) and 0% (0) had two mutations (GG). Those with the AG outcome had an average arm circumference of 46.37cmcompared with AA which had an average of 42.02cm. Those with the AG outcome had an average pull-up max score of 21 compared with AA with an average of 12. Those with the AG outcome had an average push-up max of 61 compared with AA with an average of 40.

The study clearly shows that those with a mutation are rare, however the mutation does appear to give the subject a performance and size advantage over those with the common outcome.

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Introduction.

MSTN is a gene that makes instructions for producing the protein myostatin, a protein that is part of the transforming growth factor beta family (TGFβ). The TGFβ family of proteins control the growth of tissues in the body, myostatin is found nearly exclusively in the skeletal muscles where it is active before and after birth. The protein actually controls skeletal growth by restraining it, preventing muscles becoming excessively large. Current research that surrounds myostatin is based around its potential treatment in muscle wasting disorders, animals that have mutations in the encoding gene MSTN show greater muscle mass, strength and in some circumstances reduced bodyfat, which can be known as myostatin-related muscle hypertrophy. [1]

This is a study based on the extracted data from an anonymised data bank of genetic and individual data, it is aimed at building a basis for research on the gene MSTN and how it interacts with athletes.

Aim.

The study aims to discover if the gene MSTN, in particular mutations in the SNP rs1805086 have any impact on the male bodybuilding population (n = 92)  from a muscle hypertrophy and muscle performance standpoint.

The secondary aim is to speculate if rare mutations are more prevalent in those who decide to choose a sport such as bodybuilding, as research indicates that mutations in MSTN can illicit larger muscle mass and a reduction in bodyfat.

Methods.

Data is taken from an anonymised genetic and individual data bank, which gains consent for research purposes. Individuals that fall within the study criteria (M, 22-29y/o, training for bodybuilding for 3 years +), complete the following tests and record scores:

Pull-up max – As many full pull-ups (palms pronated) as possible before having to cease (let go of the bar). No straps were permitted.

Push-up max – As many push-ups within one-minute, full push-ups.

Arm circumference – Measured arm circumference when arm is flexed.

This data is added to already collected data and the genetic outcome for rs1805086.

Results.

Individual

rs1805086 (MSTN) variant:

Pull-Up Results (60s)

Push-Up Results (60s)

Sex

Age

Weight KG

Height CMs

Arm Circumfrence CMs flexed

Sport (3 years +)

AOX1

AA

11

48

M

26

77

178

42.2

Bodybuilding

AOX2

AA

14

50

M

25

73

179

41

Bodybuilding

AOX3

AA

12

38

M

28

82

181

43

Bodybuilding

AOX4

AA

9

37

M

27

85

180

41

Bodybuilding

AOX5

AA

14

34

M

23

87

178

42

Bodybuilding

AOX6

AA

16

39

M

28

82

182

43

Bodybuilding

AOX7

AG

18

62

M

24

91

181

46

Bodybuilding

AOX8

AA

15

58

M

26

85

182

43

Bodybuilding

AOX9

AA

10

50

M

28

81

173

42

Bodybuilding

AOX10

AG

19

59

M

23

90

183

45

Bodybuilding

AOX11

AA

10

34

M

22

81

168

40

Bodybuilding

AOX12

AA

9

41

M

25

78

175

41

Bodybuilding

AOX13

AA

12

43

M

27

82

177

42

Bodybuilding

AOX14

AA

11

46

M

23

84

173

43

Bodybuilding

AOX15

AA

15

32

M

23

88

181

44

Bodybuilding

AOX16

AA

13

34

M

28

87

181

43

Bodybuilding

AOX17

AA

16

38

M

27

86

180

44

Bodybuilding

AOX18

AA

12

39

M

26

82

184

42

Bodybuilding

AOX19

AA

11

41

M

24

81

182

41

Bodybuilding

AOX20

AA

8

30

M

25

79

173

42

Bodybuilding

AOX21

AA

9

26

M

28

78

165

45

Bodybuilding

AOX22

AA

10

38

M

23

72

181

40

Bodybuilding

AOX23

AG

21

63

M

22

89

180

44

Bodybuilding

AOX24

AA

17

42

M

29

76

172

43

Bodybuilding

AOX25

AA

13

47

M

23

86

180

42

Bodybuilding

AOX26

AA

16

49

M

24

73

171

40

Bodybuilding

AOX27

AA

18

51

M

25

77

179

40

Bodybuilding

AOX28

AA

15

38

M

28

79

176

42

Bodybuilding

AOX29

AA

17

42

M

29

81

180

43

Bodybuilding

AOX30

AA

11

39

M

25

82

181

44

Bodybuilding

AOX31

AA

9

33

M

25

86

185

42

Bodybuilding

AOX32

AG

19

57

M

26

93

183

48

Bodybuilding

AOX33

AA

10

38

M

28

81

180

42

Bodybuilding

AOX34

AA

11

29

M

23

72

176

41

Bodybuilding

AOX35

AA

15

49

M

23

80

177

40

Bodybuilding

AOX36

AA

13

55

M

26

71

175

44

Bodybuilding

AOX37

AA

11

51

M

27

66

170

43

Bodybuilding

AOX38

AA

9

32

M

28

91

184

42

Bodybuilding

AOX39

AA

10

42

M

25

83

180

40

Bodybuilding

AOX40

AA

12

51

M

24

88

182

41

Bodybuilding

AOX41

AA

11

43

M

23

80

173

40

Bodybuilding

AOX42

AA

6

28

M

28

72

178

40

Bodybuilding

AOX43

AA

8

33

M

23

75

167

41

Bodybuilding

AOX44

AG

20

62

M

26

94

190

47

Bodybuilding

AOX45

AG

25

65

M

25

92

183

45

Bodybuilding

AOX46

AG

21

66

M

26

98

180

45

Bodybuilding

AOX47

AA

11

57

M

28

83

171

41

Bodybuilding

AOX48

AA

9

47

M

27

81

180

43

Bodybuilding

AOX49

AA

13

39

M

26

82

181

40

Bodybuilding

AOX50

AA

18

51

M

25

80

179

41

Bodybuilding

AOX51

AA

14

52

M

25

84

180

43

Bodybuilding

AOX52

AA

12

42

M

23

85

181

43

Bodybuilding

AOX53

AA

16

45

M

29

84

189

41

Bodybuilding

AOX54

AG

18

59

M

24

92

183

45

Bodybuilding

AOX55

AG

21

58

M

23

91

180

44

Bodybuilding

AOX56

AG

28

61

M

23

88

181

45

Bodybuilding

AOX57

AG

17

60

M

27

94

182

43

Bodybuilding

AOX58

AG

24

58

M

28

101

192

49

Bodybuilding

AOX59

AA

9

43

M

29

74

182

45

Bodybuilding

AOX60

AA

12

37

M

25

73

183

44

Bodybuilding

AOX61

AA

17

44

M

24

85

175

43

Bodybuilding

AOX62

AA

14

45

M

25

87

182

42

Bodybuilding

AOX63

AA

16

48

M

29

88

181

41

Bodybuilding

AOX64

AA

12

32

M

22

81

180

43

Bodybuilding

AOX65

AA

11

31

M

23

83

179

42

Bodybuilding

AOX66

AA

9

28

M

24

85

174

41

Bodybuilding

AOX67

AA

13

34

M

29

86

180

43

Bodybuilding

AOX68

AA

10

38

M

25

90

181

45

Bodybuilding

AOX69

AA

9

27

M

25

82

180

42

Bodybuilding

AOX70

AA

16

53

M

27

85

178

41

Bodybuilding

AOX71

AA

14

42

M

27

84

181

44

Bodybuilding

AOX72

AA

12

48

M

26

81

183

45

Bodybuilding

AOX73

AG

20

61

M

25

91

180

44

Bodybuilding

AOX74

AG

18

69

M

23

89

184

46

Bodybuilding

AOX75

AA

13

38

M

24

81

181

41

Bodybuilding

AOX76

AA

17

41

M

29

73

180

40

Bodybuilding

AOX77

AA

13

38

M

25

77

179

41

Bodybuilding

AOX78

AA

18

49

M

22

84

183

42

Bodybuilding

AOX79

AA

16

41

M

24

89

177

43

Bodybuilding

AOX80

AA

17

37

M

28

90

172

41

Bodybuilding

AOX81

AG

28

61

M

27

103

188

51

Bodybuilding

AOX82

AA

15

38

M

24

77

183

42

Bodybuilding

AOX83

AA

17

36

M

26

79

181

42

Bodybuilding

AOX84

AA

16

38

M

25

81

182

41

Bodybuilding

AOX85

AA

15

41

M

25

83

181

40

Bodybuilding

AOX86

AA

12

23

M

25

71

179

42

Bodybuilding

AOX87

AA

11

33

M

24

70

180

43

Bodybuilding

AOX88

AA

18

54

M

23

69

168

44

Bodybuilding

AOX89

AG

30

58

M

24

96

181

45

Bodybuilding

AOX90

AA

19

43

M

23

86

179

41

Bodybuilding

AOX91

AA

9

44

M

29

84

177

43

Bodybuilding

AOX92

AA

8

46

M

25

88

181

41

Bodybuilding

Table 1. Data set for study.

Population data

The population data for the group showed:

76 had the AA genotype

16 had the AG genotype

0 had the GG genotype

AA vs AG MSTN variant

Figure 1: Averages for the bodybuilding population. 

Pull-up max data

The Pull-up max average data showed:

21 (rounded down) Pull-ups completed in the AG group

12 (rounded down) Pull-ups completed in the AA group

 Push-up max data

The Push-up max average data showed:

61 (rounded down) Push-ups completed in one minute in the AG group

40 (rounded down) Push-ups completed in one minute in the AA group

Arm circumference data

The arm circumference average data showed:

46.375cm arm circumference in the AG group

42.028cm arm circumference in the AA group

Conclusion and follow-up.

This look into specific collated data has shown that the mutations in the gene MSTN may illicit advantages for those in bodybuilding and sports in general due to an increased muscle performance and apparent muscle size. A deeper look into a greater number of subjects will offer a greater insight into how much impact this one gene may play in sports and the general populous.

A full follow-up study with lab controlled subjects during performance testing and in a greater number is recommend to draw firm conclusions.

 

 

 

References

  1. Myostatin Related Hypertrophy . U.S. National Library of Medicine . Retrieved 2019-1-14