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Int J Obes (Lond). 2015 Nov;39(11):1662-5. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2015.144. Epub 2015 Aug 4.

A novel gene THSD7A is associated with obesity.

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CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, India.
School of Life Sciences, Manipal University, Karnataka, India.
Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College of Ayurveda, Karnataka, India.
Sinhgad College of Engineering, Maharashtra, India.
Foundation for Revitalization of Local Health Traditions, Karnataka, India.
Department of Statistics, Manipal University, Karnataka, India.
Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences, University of Pune, Maharashtra, India.
Department of Molecular Reproduction, Development and Genetics, Indian Institute of Science, Karnataka, India.


Body mass index (BMI) is a non-invasive measurement of obesity. It is commonly used for assessing adiposity and obesity-related risk prediction. Genetic differences between ethnic groups are important factors, which contribute to the variation in phenotypic effects. India inhabited by the first out-of-Africa human population and the contemporary Indian populations are admixture of two ancestral populations; ancestral north Indians (ANI) and ancestral south Indians (ASI). Although ANI are related to Europeans, ASI are not related to any group outside Indian-subcontinent. Hence, we expect novel genetic loci associated with BMI. In association analysis, we found eight genic SNPs in extreme of distribution (P⩽3.75 × 10(-5)), of which WWOX has already been reported to be associated with obesity-related traits hence excluded from further study. Interestingly, we observed rs1526538, an intronic SNP of THSD7A; a novel gene significantly associated with obesity (P=2.88 × 10(-5), 8.922 × 10(-6) and 2.504 × 10(-9) in discovery, replication and combined stages, respectively). THSD7A is neural N-glycoprotein, which promotes angiogenesis and it is well known that angiogenesis modulates obesity, adipose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, hence our result find a correlation. This information can be used for drug target, early diagnosis of obesity and treatment.

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