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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Jun;19(6):1244-51. doi: 10.1038/oby.2010.325. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Multilocus analyses of seven candidate genes suggest interacting pathways for obesity-related traits in Brazilian populations.

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Centro de Estudos do Genoma Humano, Departamento de Genética e Biologia; Evolutiva, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.


We investigated whether variants in major candidate genes for food intake and body weight regulation contribute to obesity-related traits under a multilocus perspective. We studied 375 Brazilian subjects from partially isolated African-derived populations (quilombos). Seven variants displaying conflicting results in previous reports and supposedly implicated in the susceptibility of obesity-related phenotypes were investigated: β2-adrenergic receptor (ADRB2) (Arg16Gly), insulin induced gene 2 (INSIG2) (rs7566605), leptin (LEP) (A19G), LEP receptor (LEPR) (Gln223Arg), perilipin (PLIN) (6209T > C), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARG) (Pro12Ala), and resistin (RETN) (-420 C > G). Regression models as well as generalized multifactor dimensionality reduction (GMDR) were employed to test the contribution of individual effects and higher-order interactions to BMI and waist-hip ratio (WHR) variation and risk of overweight/obesity. The best multilocus association signal identified in the quilombos was further examined in an independent sample of 334 Brazilian subjects of European ancestry. In quilombos, only the PPARG polymorphism displayed significant individual effects (WHR variation, P = 0.028). No association was observed either with the risk of overweight/obesity (BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2), risk of obesity alone (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2) or BMI variation. However, GMDR analyses revealed an interaction between the LEPR and ADRB2 polymorphisms (P = 0.009) as well as a third-order effect involving the latter two variants plus INSIG2 (P = 0.034) with overweight/obesity. Assessment of the LEPR-ADRB2 interaction in the second sample indicated a marginally significant association (P = 0.0724), which was further verified to be limited to men (P = 0.0118). Together, our findings suggest evidence for a two-locus interaction between the LEPR Gln223Arg and ADRB2 Arg16Gly variants in the risk of overweight/obesity, and highlight further the importance of multilocus effects in the genetic component of obesity.

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