Association between polymorphisms in the Clock gene, obesity and the metabolic syndrome in man

Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Apr;32(4):658-62. doi: 10.1038/sj.ijo.0803778. Epub 2007 Dec 11.


Objective: Accumulating evidence raises the hypothesis that dysregulation of intrinsic clock mechanisms are involved in the development of the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between three known common polymorphisms in the Clock gene and features of the metabolic syndrome in man.

Methods: Genotype and haplotype analysis was carried out in a cohort of 537 individuals from 89 families characterized for inflammatory, atherothrombotic and metabolic risk associated with insulin resistance.

Results: Heritability of the metabolic syndrome, defined according to International Diabetes Federation criteria, was 0.40. Haplotype analysis indicated three common haplotypes: CAT, TGT and CGC (rs4864548-rs3736544-rs1801260) with frequencies of 31, 33 and 28%, respectively. The CGC haplotype was less prevalent in subjects with the metabolic syndrome (P=0.0015) and was associated with lower waist circumference (P=0.007), lower hip circumference (P=0.023), lower body mass index (P=0.043) and lower leptin levels (P=0.028). The CAT haplotype was significantly associated with the presence of the metabolic syndrome (P=0.020).

Conclusions: These findings suggest that the Clock gene CGC haplotype may be protective for the development of obesity and support the hypothesis that genetic variation in the Clock gene may play a role in the development of the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Constitution / genetics
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / genetics*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / physiology


  • Trans-Activators
  • CLOCK Proteins
  • CLOCK protein, human