Journal of human genetics

Association study of common polymorphisms in MSRA, TFAP2B, MC4R, NRXN3, PPARGC1A, TMEM18, SEC16B, HOXB5 and OLFM4 genes with obesity-related traits among Portuguese children.

PMID 24670271


At least 52 genetic loci were associated with obesity-related traits. However, little is known about the genetic basis of obesity among children. This study aims to test whether 10 polymorphisms in obesity-related genes methionine sulfoxide reductase A (MSRA), transcription factor AP-2 beta (TFAP2B), melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), neurexin 3 (NRXN3), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PPARGC1A), transmembrane protein 18 (TMEM18), homolog of S. cerevisiae Sec16 (SEC16B), homeobox B5 (HOXB5) and olfactomedin 4 (OLFM4) are associated with the risk of obesity in Portuguese children. A total of 730 children aging from 6 to 12 years old, recruited randomly from public schools in Portugal, were analysed. Anthropometric measurements were obtained and children were classified into three phenotypic groups, normal weight (n=256), overweight (n=320) and obese (n=154), according to the International Obesity Task Force cutoffs. Polymorphisms were genotyped by allelic discrimination TaqMan assays. The MC4R rs12970134 polymorphism was nominally associated with body mass index (BMI) (P=0.035), BMI Z-score (P=0.043) and waist circumference (P=0.020), and borderline associated with weight (P=0.053). Near nominal associations were also found for the PPARGC1A rs8192678 polymorphism with weight (P=0.061), and for the MSRA rs545854 polymorphism with BMI (P=0.055) and BMI Z-score (P=0.056). Furthermore, logistic regression showed that MC4R rs12970134 and TFAP2B rs987237 were nominally, respectively, associated (P=0.029) and borderline associated (P=0.056) with the obese phenotype. This study highlighted the possible association of MC4R, PPARGC1A, MSRA and TFAP2B polymorphisms with several obesity-related traits in a sample of Portuguese children. The two significant associated TFAP2B rs987237 and MC4R rs12970134 polymorphisms showed an opposite direction of effect to that in the original reports.