DOI: 10.18413/2658-6533-2023-9-2-0-3

A replication study of genetic variants associated with high-level musical aptitude

Background: Existing genetic studies on musical abilities have focused on various molecular approaches, which determined gene regions/variants implicated in (i) music perception and performance based on genome-wide linkage and association scans, (ii) differential expression patterns as a response to music listening/performance, (iii) music production in songbirds, and (iiii) neuronal plasticity relation to music training. The aim of the study: The present study sought to examine the main and combined effects of related gene variants in developing musical abilities in individuals from Russia. In addition, we aimed to obtain the mathematical model with the optimal sensitivity to specificity ratio to predict individual liability for high-level musical aptitude. Materials and methods: A genotyping of the SNCA (rs356168, rs3910105), GATA2 (rs9854612), PCDH7 (rs13109270, rs13146789), UNC5C (rs9307160), ASAP1 (rs3057), SBSPON (rs1007750), GRIN2B (rs3764030), and BDNF (rs6265) gene variants was performed via real-time PCR with endpoint fluorescent detection in high-level musically skilled students (N = 100, 66% of women) in Moscow (Russia) and corresponding control group (N = 200, 67% of women). The main and combined effects of examined gene variants on developing musical abilities were assessed via logistic regression models followed by a selection of the best predicting model in R v.4.1.2. Results: We obtained a regression model (AUC = 0.735, P = 0.026), which can predict a higher probability to develop musical aptitude linked to SNCA rs356168 TT-genotype (β=1.98, P=0.011, OR=7.31, 95%CI 1.66-38.4), SNCA rs3910105 TC-genotype (β=1.39, P=0.034, OR=4.16, 95%CI 1.2-16.6), GATA2 rs9854612 A-allele (β=0.83, P=0.082, OR=2.30, 95%CI 0.91-6.11). Moreover, a significant effect of ASAP1 rs3057 on manifestation of musical skills was observed under the dominance deviation from additivity model (β=2.13, P=0.032, OR=1.94, 95%CI 1.05-3.56). Conclusion: Revealed findings testify in the involvement of dopaminergic neurotransmission and reward mechanisms attributed to α-synuclein- and GATA2-mediated gene effects in ability to develop exaggerated musical skills.

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