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PLoS One. 2009;4(4):e5327. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0005327. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Genetic variance in the adiponutrin gene family and childhood obesity.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Sciences Malmö, Lund University, Lund, Sweden. lovisa.johansson@med.lu.se



The adiponutrin gene family consists of five genes (PNPLA1-5) coding for proteins with both lipolytic and lipogenic properties. PNPLA3 has previously been associated with adult obesity. Here we investigated the possible association between genetic variants in these genes and childhood and adolescent obesity.


Polymorphisms in the five genes of the adiponutrin gene family were selected and genotyped using the Sequenom platform in a childhood and adolescent obesity case-control study. Six variants in PNPLA1 showed association with obesity (rs9380559, rs12212459, rs1467912, rs4713951, rs10947600, and rs12199580, p<0.05 after adjustment for age and gender). Three variants in PNPLA3 showed association with obesity before, but not after, adjustment for age and gender (rs139051, rs12483959, and rs2072907, p>0.05). When analyzing these SNPs in relation to phenotypes, two SNPs in the PNPLA3 gene showed association with insulin sensitivity (rs12483959: beta = -0.053, p = 0.016, and rs2072907: beta = -0.049, p = 0.024). No associations were seen for PNPLA2, PNPLA4, and PNPLA5.


Genetic variation in the adiponutrin gene family does not seem to contribute strongly to obesity in children and adolescents. PNPLA1 exhibited a modest effect on obesity and PNPLA3 on insulin sensitivity. These data, however, require confirmation in other cohorts and ethnic groups.

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