Linkage and association analysis of obesity traits reveals novel loci and interactions with dietary n-3 fatty acids in an Alaska Native (Yup'ik) population

Metabolism. 2015 Jun;64(6):689-97. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2015.02.008. Epub 2015 Mar 5.


Objective: To identify novel genetic markers of obesity-related traits and to identify gene-diet interactions with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) intake in Yup'ik people.

Material and methods: We measured body composition, plasma adipokines and ghrelin in 982 participants enrolled in the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) Study. We conducted a genome-wide SNP linkage scan and targeted association analysis, fitting additional models to investigate putative gene-diet interactions. Finally, we performed bioinformatic analysis to uncover likely candidate genes within the identified linkage peaks.

Results: We observed evidence of linkage for all obesity-related traits, replicating previous results and identifying novel regions of interest for adiponectin (10q26.13-2) and thigh circumference (8q21.11-13). Bioinformatic analysis revealed DOCK1, PTPRE (10q26.13-2) and FABP4 (8q21.11-13) as putative candidate genes in the newly identified regions. Targeted SNP analysis under the linkage peaks identified associations between three SNPs and obesity-related traits: rs1007750 on chromosome 8 and thigh circumference (P=0.0005), rs878953 on chromosome 5 and thigh skinfold (P=0.0004), and rs1596854 on chromosome 11 for waist circumference (P=0.0003). Finally, we showed that n-3 PUFA modified the association between obesity related traits and two additional variants (rs2048417 on chromosome 3 for adiponectin, P for interaction=0.0006 and rs730414 on chromosome 11 for percentage body fat, P for interaction=0.0004).

Conclusions: This study presents evidence of novel genomic regions and gene-diet interactions that may contribute to the pathophysiology of obesity-related traits among Yup'ik people.

Keywords: Alaska Native; Linkage; Obesity; n-3 fatty acids.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alaska
  • Anthropometry
  • Body Composition / genetics
  • Computational Biology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology*
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genome, Human / genetics
  • Humans
  • Inuits / genetics*
  • Male
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Waist Circumference / genetics


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3