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Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology

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Title: Genetic studies of body mass index yield new insights for obesity biology
Authors: Lim, Unhee
Le Marchand, Loic
Wilkens, Lynne
Issue Date: Feb 2015
Publisher: Nature
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Note: A full list of authors and affiliations appears at the end of the article.

Obesity is heritable and predisposes to many diseases. To understand the genetic basis of obesity better, here we conduct a genome-wide association study and Metabochip meta-analysis of body mass index (BMI), a measure commonly used to define obesity and assess adiposity, in up to 339,224 individuals. This analysis identifies 97 BMI-associated loci (P < 5 × 10^−8), 56 of which are novel. Five loci demonstrate clear evidence of several independent association signals, and many loci have significant effects on other metabolic phenotypes. The 97 loci account for ~2.7% of BMI variation, and genome-wide estimates suggest that common variation accounts for >20% of BMI variation. Pathway analyses provide strong support for a role of the central nervous system in obesity susceptibility and implicate new genes and pathways, including those related to synaptic function, glutamate signalling, insulin secretion/action, energy metabolism, lipid biology and adipogenesis.

Pages/Duration: 48
DOI: 10.1038/nature14177
Appears in Collections:University of Hawaii Cancer Center / Cancer Research Center Faculty & Researcher Works

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