Evaluation of a circadian rhythm gene (PER3) VNTR variant in Turkish athletes

Ünver Ş., YİĞİT S., Tural E., Yigit E., Atan T.

Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15257770.2023.2248198
  • Journal Name: Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, MEDLINE
  • Keywords: Circadian rhythm, elite athlete, PER3 gene, performance, VNTR
  • Ondokuz Mayıs University Affiliated: Yes


Objective: Circadian rhythmicity has been shown to contribute to the regulation of key physiological and cognitive processes related to performance. The period homolog 3 (PER3) is expressed in a circadian pattern in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to evaluate the role of the variable tandem repeat (VNTR) variant of the PER3 gene in athletic performance in the Turkish population. Methods: This study included 223 subjects, which consisted of 123 athletes and 100 sedentary controls. Blood samples were drawn from all subjects. DNA was extracted from whole-blood samples. The PER3 VNTR variant was genotyped using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction method (PCR). The results of the analyses were evaluated for statistical significance. Results: The mean ages of athletes and controls were 22 ± 2.814 and 23 ± 3.561, respectively. Endurance athletes in the group were 21.1%, and sprint athletes were 78.9%. There was no statistical significance in terms of PER3 VNTR genotype distribution or allele frequency. In the recessive model, a statistically significant association was observed when the athletes were compared with the controls according to 4/4 + 4/5 versus 5/5 genotype (p = 0.020). Conclusion: In this case-control study, for the first time in our country, we obtained findings suggesting that the PER3 VNTR variant may affect sports performance in the Turkish population. Results need to be replicated in different ethnic and larger samples.