Objective: Recent genome-wide association studies have identified multiple novel loci associated with obesity in Europeans. We hypothesized that these genetic variants may be associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Chinese.
Research design and methods: We examined 14 associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms at 12 loci (NEGR1, SEC16B, TMEM18, ETV5/DGKG, GNPDA2, LIN7C/BDNF, MTCH2, BCDIN3D/FAIM2, SH2B1, FTO, MC4R, and KCTD15) in 605 healthy adults, 1087 healthy adolescents and 6013 T2D patients from Hong Kong.
Results: The European at-risk alleles at five loci including GNPDA2, BCDIN3D/FAIM2, SH2B1, FTO, and KCTD15 were significantly associated with increased body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (4.5 x 10(-8) < P < 0.024), and/or obesity risk (odds ratio 1.14-1.22, 2.0 x 10(-5) < P < 0.002) in our Chinese populations. The former four loci as well as LIN7C/BDNF were also modestly associated with T2D risk (odds ratio 1.09-1.22, 0.008 < P < 0.041), but the associations were lost after adjustment for BMI, suggesting their roles in T2D risk are mediated through modulation of adiposity. Joint effect analyses of the five adiposity loci revealed an increase of about 0.29 kg/m(2) in BMI with each additional copy of at-risk allele (P(trend) = 4.2 x 10(-12)).
Conclusions: Our findings support the important contribution of GNPDA2, BCDIN3D/FAIM2, SH2B1, FTO, and KCTD15 in the regulation of adiposity, which in turn affects T2D risk in Chinese.