Association between obesity and a polymorphism in the beta(1)-adrenoceptor gene (Gly389Arg ADRB1) in Caucasian women

Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2002 May;26(5):633-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0801971.


Introduction: Genetic variants affecting adrenoceptors have been suggested to influence body fatness. A putative gain-of-function polymorphism in the beta(1)-adrenoceptor was recently discovered (Gly389Arg ADRB1). We examined the association between Gly389Arg ADRB1 and obesity status in a large cohort of well-characterized individuals.

Methods: First, a large cohort of 931 Caucasian women (55.0+/-12.2 y) were genotyped for Gly389Arg ADRBbeta1 and we examined the association of the Arg allele with body weight and BMI (Gly/Gly, n=54; Gly/Arg, n=360; Arg/Arg, n=517). To further examine phenotypes regulating energy balance and body fatness, we examined the contribution of the Arg allele to body composition (DEXA), fat distribution (CT scan), resting energy expenditure, energy and macronutrient intake, maximal oxygen capacity, and physical activity in a subsample of 214 women from the main cohort that had been carefully characterized (Gly/Gly, n=19; Gly/Arg, n=82; Arg/Arg, n=113).

Results: In the entire cohort (n=931), allele frequencies were 0.25 and 0.75 for the Gly and Arg alleles, respectively. In this cohort, we found that each Arg allele was associated with greater body weight of 2.91 kg (P=0.01) and BMI of 0.86 kg/m(2) (P=0.05). Accordingly, in the subsample of women, each Arg allele was associated with greater fat mass (3.71 kg; P=0.008). Other phenotypes were not significantly associated with the presence of the Arg allele.

Conclusions: This is the first study to investigate the relationship between the Gly389Arg ADRB1 variant and obesity. We found that the Arg allele is associated with greater body weight and BMI in Caucasian women due to a greater fat mass.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Arginine*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Glycine*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-1 / genetics*
  • Rest
  • Whites


  • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-1
  • Arginine
  • Glycine