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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A missense mutation in the human melanocortin-4 receptor gene in relation to abdominal obesity and salivary cortisol.

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4-R) regulates food intake and possibly energy expenditure, and the inactivation of the MC4-R by gene targeting results in obesity, a phenotype strongly associated with Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. In our study, we addressed the hypothesis that a G-->A substitution at codon 103 (Val-103Ile) of the MC4R gene influences abdominal obesity, insulin, glucose, and lipid metabolism as well as circulating hormones, including salivary cortisol. METHODS: We genotyped the missense variant at codon 103 of the MC4R gene in 284 unrelated Swedish men born in 1944 by using polymerase chain reaction amplification followed by digestion with the restriction enzyme HincII. RESULTS: The frequency of allele G was 0.97 and 0.03 for allele A. The observed genotype frequencies were 95 % and 5 % for G/G and G/A, respectively. The heterozygotes had lower waist-to-hip ratio (p = 0.023) and trends for lower body mass index (p = 0.054) and abdominal sagittal diameter (p = 0.095) compared to G/G homozygotes. Moreover, G/A subjects had borderline lower serum leptin concentrations (p = 0.087) and total cholesterol (p = 0.082). The heterozygotes had also, in comparison to G/G subjects, significantly (p < 0.01) higher mean cortisol concentrations in the morning (21.4 vs 14.6 nmol/l), at ll:45 h (11.6 vs 7.0 nmol/l), 30 min after a standardized lunch (15.3 vs 8.0 nmol/l) and finally, 60 min after lunch (10.8 vs 6.7 nmol/l). CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: These findings suggest that the missense mutation in the MC4R gene could contribute to the variability in body mass, abdominal fat distribution and leptin concentrations in the general population. Moreover, the G/A mutation exhibits evidence of associations with diurnal cortisol levels.[1]


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