Aim: SOCS3 gene plays an important role in the pathogenesis of obesity in animal models, but the data from human studies are relatively limited. To address this issue, a genetic association analysis on nationalities with different genetic background living in the similar environmental conditions was performed.
Methods: Two thousand seven hundred eleven subjects were randomly recruited from the Kazakh, Uygur and Han nationalities in Xinjiang of China. SNP polymorphisms rs4969168 and rs9892622 within or near the SOCS3 gene were genotyped using TaqMan-MGB™ assay. Association study between the two polymorphisms and obesity-related traits (body mass index [BMI]; waist-to-hip ratio [WHR]; weight; height, waist, and hip measurements) was conducted.
Results: Significant association was found between rs4969168 and the obesity-related traits, including BMI (25.32 ± 3.49 kg/m(2) for AA, 24.60 ± 3.70 kg/m(2) for AG, 24.39 ± 3.42 kg/m(2) for GG, P=0.042), weight (65.58 ± 11.42 kg for AA, 63.50 ± 11.30 kg for AG, 62.00 ± 10.78 kg for GG, P=0.011) in the Han nationality, but not in the Kazakh or Uygur nationalities. Rs9892622 was significantly associated with BMI, WHR, and WAIST in the Uygur males. Rs9892622 was also associated with BMI in Kazakh males. Linear regression analysis verified the above findings. However, neither of the two polymorphisms was associated with obesity-related traits in the total population.
Conclusion: The polymorphism rs4969168 within or near the SOCS3 gene has a significant effect in the Han nationality, while rs9892622 was associated with obesity in Uygur and Kazakh nationalities in Xinjiang of China.