Unravelling the Genetic Susceptibility to Develop Ligament and Tendon Injuries
Umile Giuseppe Longo,
Wasim S. Khan,
Purpose: In the last decades, new evidences supported the relationship polymorphisms and the
susceptibility to develop ligament and tendon injuries. We performed a review of the genetic factors involved
in tendon and ligament injuries. Methods: A review of the literature has been performed in a systematic fashion by using
the terms “sports”, “ligaments”, “injuries”, “tendon” and “genetics”. PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, Cochrane, Medline and
Google Scholar databases were screened over the years 1984–2014. Results: The genes currently associated with tendon
and ligament injuries include gene encoding for collagen, tenascin, matrix metallopeptidase, and growth factors.
Conclusions: Tendon and ligament injuries do not have a single genetic cause. Predictive genomics DNA profiling for
athletic performance and sport injuries allows to understand what genetic advantages have to be exploited, and which
genetic barriers have to be overcome. Although these findings could explain why an individual is able to excel in one
sport discipline rather than in a different one, and why an individual develops more injuries than another one, many other
factors should be taken into account. Indeed, environment and lifestyle play a critical role in combination with gene profile
in determing tendon and ligament injuries.
Keywords: Genetics, ligaments, single nucleotide polymorphisms, sports injuries, tendon.
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