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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2007 Jan;15(1):5-9.

The SH2B gene is associated with serum leptin and body fat in normal female twins.

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Nutrition Food and Health Research Centre, King's College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK.


Src-homology-2 (SH2)-B, a Janus tyrosine kinase 2-interacting protein, has been identified recently as a key regulator of leptin and insulin sensitivity, glucose homeostasis, and body weight in mice. The aim of this study was to determine whether single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human SH2B gene are associated with these variables. A tagging SNP (tSNP), Ala484Thr (rs7498665), was selected to represent five common SNPs (minor allele frequency > 0.05) in perfect linkage disequilibrium in a 16-kb region encompassing the SH2B gene. The tSNP was genotyped in 2455 white female twins (mean age, 47.4 +/- 12.6 years) from the St. Thomas' United Kingdom Adult Twin Registry (Twins United Kingdom). Ala484Thr (minor allele frequency, 0.38) was associated with serum leptin, total fat, waist circumference, and body weight (P = 0.02 to 0.04). The coding SNP has no predicted effect on protein structure or function and is likely to be in linkage disequilibrium with an as-yet unidentified functional variant in the SH2B gene. Our results support a role for SH2-B in modulating the regulation of body weight and fat by leptin in this female population. If SH2-B signaling is attenuated in diet-induced obesity, it could become a target for drug-induced leptin sensitization.

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