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Obes Res. 2000 May;8(3):219-26.

Sequence variation within the neuropeptide Y gene and obesity in Mexican Americans.

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Human Genetics Center, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas-Houston Health Science Center, 77030, USA.



Recently, we reported evidence for linkage between neuropeptide Y (NPY) and both obesity and several obesity-related quantitative measures in a sample of Mexican Americans from Starr County, Texas. The purpose of this study was to investigate putative variation within the coding and promoter regions of NPY.


Five young, obese individuals (body mass index [BMI] 33 to 45 kg/m2, age 14 to 30 years); five adult, lean individuals (BMI 20 to 26 kg/m2, age 39 to 65 years); and five sibling pairs sharing no alleles that were identical by descent at a marker locus proximal to NPY were selected for fluorescence-based sequencing of approximately 1100 base pairs (bp) immediately 5' from the start site and all four exons of NPY. We identified a total of eight variant sites, including a 2-bp insertion/deletion (I/D) within a putative negative regulatory region (-880I/D) and a 17-bp deletion at the exon 1/intron 1 junction (69I/D). The -880I/D and 69I/D variants were typed in a separate random sample of Mexican Americans (N = 914) from Starr County, Texas.


Analyses of variance resulted in a significant association between -880I/D and waist-to-hip ratio (p = 0.041) in the entire sample and between -880I/D and BMI (p = 0.031), abdominal circumference (p = 0.044), and waist-to-hip ratio (p = 0.041) in a non-obese subsample (BMI < 30 kg/m2, n = 594). The 69I/D variant was observed in only one pedigree and does not appear to segregate with obesity within this pedigree.


This study reports newly identified common human sequence variation within the regulatory and coding sequence of NPY. Several variants were observed, and of those tested, the -880I/D promoter region variant may influence body fat patterning in non-obese individuals but does not appear to play a major role in the etiology of common forms of obesity in this population.

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