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Hum Mol Genet. 1997 May;6(5):675-9.

Structure and sequence variation at the human leptin receptor gene in lean and obese Pima Indians.

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  • 1Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, AZ 85016, USA.


The cloning of human and mouse cDNAs from brain that encode high affinity leptin receptors was recently reported. We have physically localized the human leptin receptor gene (LEPR) to a region at 1p31, between the anonymous microsatellite markers D1S515 and D1S198. The genomic structure of the human leptin receptor gene, corresponding to the published human brain cDNA sequence, spans over 70 kb and includes 20 exons. Since the leptin receptor gene is a candidate gene for obesity, and because of its proximity to D1S198, a marker previously linked to insulin secretion, the LEPR gene was sequenced in 20 non-diabetic Pima Indians chosen for extremes in percent body fat and in their acute insulin response to intravenous glucose. Seven polymorphic sites were identified. Two of these polymorphisms, Lys109Arg and Gln223Arg, are amino acid substitutions in the extracellular domain of the leptin receptor, one polymorphism is a silent substitution, and four occur in non-coding regions of the leptin receptor. Four of these sites are in linkage disequilibrium with one another. Nucleotides at three noncoding polymorphic sites were found exclusively in obese Pima Indians. This demonstrates an association between variation at the leptin receptor gene and obesity in humans.

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