Background and aims: Sirtuin 1, encoded by the SIRT1 gene, is an emerging modulator of carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and may also influence the differentiation of bone cells. Our objective was to test the hypothesis that polymorphisms of SIRT1 are associated with body mass index (BMI) and bone mineral density (BMD).
Methods: We carried out a cross-sectional genetic association study with genotyping of ten single nucleotide polymorphisms of the SIRT1 region. The discovery cohort included 1394 individuals (342 males, 1052 females). Significant results were replicated in an independent cohort of 408 males.
Results: We did not find a significant association of genotypes with BMD. There were also no significant BMI differences across genotypes in females. However, in males, two polymorphisms tended to be associated with BMI in the discovery cohort (p 0.03 and 0.05). A similar trend was also observed in the replication cohort. Thus, in the combined analysis of both cohorts, males with C alleles at the rs12049646 locus had a lower BMI than TT homozygotes, with a mean difference of 0.82 kg/m(2) (95% confidence interval 0.15-1.48; p = 0.016). Differences in the DNA binding of nuclear proteins between C and T alleles were also observed in vitro.
Conclusions: These results suggest that common variants of the SIRT1 gene influence BMI but not BMD.
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