Background: Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) gene polymorphisms have been reported as genetic risk factors for obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We examined the association of commonly observed UCP2 G(-866)A (rs659366) and Ala55Val (C > T) (rs660339) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with obesity, high fasting plasma glucose, and serum lipids in a Balinese population.
Methods: A total of 603 participants (278 urban and 325 rural subjects) were recruited from Bali Island, Indonesia. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG), triglyceride (TG), high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and total cholesterol (TC) were measured. Obesity was determined based on WHO classifications for adult Asians. Participants were genotyped for G(-866)A and Ala55Val polymorphisms of the UCP2 gene.
Results: Obesity prevalence was higher in urban subjects (51%) as compared to rural subjects (23%). The genotype, minor allele (MAF), and heterozygosity frequencies were similar between urban and rural subjects for both SNPs. All genotype frequencies were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. A combined analysis of genotypes and environment revealed that the urban subjects carrying the A/A genotype of the G(-866)A SNP have higher BMI than the rural subjects with the same genotype. Since the two SNPs showed strong linkage disequilibrium (D' = 0.946, r2 = 0.657), a haplotype analysis was performed. We found that the AT haplotype was associated with high BMI only when the urban environment was taken into account.
Conclusions: We have demonstrated the importance of environmental settings in studying the influence of the common UCP2 gene polymorphisms in the development of obesity in a Balinese population.