Background: Circadian rhythm has been shown to be related to glucose metabolism and risk of diabetes, probably through effects on energy balance. Recent genome-wide association studies identified variants in circadian rhythm-related genes (CRY2 and MTNR1B) associated with glucose homeostasis.
Objective: We tested whether CRY2 and MTNR1B genotypes affected changes in measures of energy expenditure in response to a weight-loss diet intervention in a 2-y randomized clinical trial, the POUNDS (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) LOST Trial.
Design: The variants CRY2 rs11605924 (n = 721) and MTNR1B rs10830963 (n = 722) were genotyped in overweight or obese adults who were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 weight-loss diets that differed in their proportions of macronutrients. Respiratory quotient (RQ) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were measured.
Results: By 2 y of diet intervention, the A allele of CRY2 rs11605924 was significantly associated with a greater reduction in RQ (P = 0.03) and a greater increase in RMR and RMR/kg (both P = 0.04). The G allele of MTNR1B rs10830963 was significantly associated with a greater increase in RQ (P = 0.01) but was not related to changes in RMR and RMR/kg. In addition, we found significant gene-diet fat interactions for both CRY2 (P-interaction = 0.02) and MTNR1B (P-interaction < 0.001) in relation to 2-y changes in RQ.
Conclusions: Our data indicate that variants in the circadian-related genes CRY2 and MTNR1B may affect long-term changes in energy expenditure, and dietary fat intake may modify the genetic effects. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00072995.