Background: Adiponectin is a collagen-like plasma protein specifically synthesized in adipose tissue. Plasma adiponectin concentrations are decreased in obesity whereas it is adipose-specific.
Objective: To clarify the significance of the genetic variations in adiponectin gene on its plasma concentrations and obesity.
Subjects: Two hundred and nineteen unrelated adult Japanese subjects (123 men and 96 women, age: 20-83 y, BMI: 16-43 kg/m2) including 77 obese subjects (BMI>26.4 kg/m2).
Measurement: Human adiponectin gene was isolated from PAC DNA pools. Mutations in the adiponectin gene were screened by direct sequencing or restriction-fragment polymorphism. The levels of plasma adiponectin were determined by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
Results: Adiponectin gene spanned 17 kb on chromosome 3q27, consisting of three exons and two introns. Within 2.1 kb of the 5'-flanking region, there were two octamer elements present in the promoter of adipsin. Two nucleotide changes were identified. One was a polymorphism (G/T) occurring in exon 2, and the other was a missense mutation (R112C) in exon 3. The mean plasma adiponectin levels of the subjects carrying G allele were low (G/G: 4.5 microg/ml; G/T: 5.9 microg/ml; and T/T: 6.3 microg/ml), but were not statistically significant. The allelic frequency between the obese and the non-obese showed no significant difference. The subject carrying R112C mutation showed markedly low concentration of plasma adiponectin.
Conclusion: Two nucleotide changes have been identified in the adiponectin gene. G/T polymorphism in exon 2 was associated with neither plasma adiponectin concentrations nor the presence of obesity. A subject carrying missense mutation (R112C) showed markedly low plasma adiponectin concentration.