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Genome Res. 1999 Oct;9(10):972-7.

G-protein beta3 subunit gene splice variant and body fat distribution in Nunavut Inuit.

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  • 1Robarts Research Institute and Department of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A5K8.


The GNB3 825T allele encodes a product that has enhanced activation of heterotrimeric G proteins in vitro and could play a role in adipogenesis. We therefore evaluated the possibility that the GNB3 825T allele was associated with obesity in a sample of 213 healthy Canadian Inuit. We found that body weight, body mass index, waist girth, hip girth, subscapular skinfold thickness, and triceps skinfold thickness were significantly higher in subjects with the GNB3 825T/T genotype than in subjects with other genotypes. Furthermore, two anthropometric ratios, namely that of waist to hip circumference and that of subscapular to triceps skinfold thickness, were not significantly different across genotypes. This suggested that the increased deposition of fat in subjects with the GNB3 825T/T genotype was generalized and not localized to particular subregions. There was no association of this genetic variation with blood pressure. The GNB3 825T/T genotype accounted for between 1.6% and 3.3% of the total variation (< or =13% of attributable variation) of the obesity-related traits. The potential for a genetic marker of obesity creates opportunities for future studies in the Inuit, not just to confirm the associations, but also to examine prospectively the influence of interventions and possible relationships between GNB3 825T and longer term complications of obesity.

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