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Mol Biol Rep. 2012 Jul;39(7):7687-93. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-1604-1. Epub 2012 Feb 12.

Amerindians show no association of PC-1 gene Gln121 allele and obesity: a thrifty gene population genetics.

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Departamento de Inmunología, Facultad de Medicina, The Madrid Regional Blood Center, University Complutense, Pabellón 5, planta 4 Avda Complutense, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


PC-1 Gln121 gene is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance in European/American Caucasoids and Orientals. We have aimed to correlate for the first time this gene in Amerindians with obesity and their corresponding individuals genotypes with obesity in order to establish preventive medicine programs for this population and also studying the evolution of gene frequencies in world populations. Central obesity was diagnosed by waist circumference perimeter and food intake independent HDL-cholesterol plasma levels were measured. HLA genes were determined in order to more objectively ascertain participants Amerindians origin. 321 Amerindian blood donors who were healthy according to the blood doning parameters were studied. No association was found between PC-1 Gln121 variant and obesity. Significant HDL-cholesterol lower values were found in the PC-1 Lys121 bearing gene individuals versus PC-1 Gln121 bearing gene ones (45.1 ± 12.7 vs. 48.7 ± 15.2 mg/dl, p < 0.05). Population analyses showed a world geographical gradient in the PC-1 Gln121 allele frequency: around 9% in Orientals, 15% in European Caucasoids and 76% in Negroids. The conclusions are: (1) No association of PC-1 Gln121 gene is found with obesity in Amerindians when association is well established in Europeans. (2) PC-1 Gln121 gene is associated to higher levels of HDL-cholesterol than the alternative PC-1 Lys121 allele. This may be specific for Amerindians. (3) Amerindians have an intermediate frequency of this possible PC-1 Gln121 thrifty gene when compared with Negroid African Americans (78.5%) or Han Chinese (7.5%, p < 0.0001). Historical details of African and other groups may support the hypothesis that PC-1 Gln121 is indeed a thrifty gene.

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