Genome-wide association study for the interaction between BMR and BMI in obese Korean women including overweight

Nutr Res Pract. 2016 Feb;10(1):115-24. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2016.10.1.115. Epub 2015 Dec 21.


Background/objectives: This is the first study to identify common genetic factors associated with the basal metabolic rate (BMR) and body mass index (BMI) in obese Korean women including overweight. This will be a basic study for future research of obese gene-BMR interaction.

Subjects/methods: The experimental design was 2 by 2 with variables of BMR and BMI. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was conducted in the overweight and obesity (BMI > 23 kg/m(2)) compared to the normality, and in women with low BMR (< 1426.3 kcal/day) compared to high BMR. A total of 140 SNPs reached formal genome-wide statistical significance in this study (P < 1 × 10(-4)). Surveys to estimate energy intake using 24-h recall method for three days and questionnaires for family history, a medical examination, and physical activities were conducted.

Results: We found that two NRG3 gene SNPs in the 10q23.1 chromosomal region were highly associated with BMR (rs10786764; P = 8.0 × 10(-7), rs1040675; 2.3 × 10(-6)) and BMI (rs10786764; P = 2.5 × 10(-5), rs10786764; 6.57 × 10(-5)). The other genes related to BMI (HSD52, TMA16, MARCH1, NRG1, NRXN3, and STK4) yielded P <10 × 10(-4). Five new loci associated with BMR and BMI, including NRG3, OR8U8, BCL2L2-PABPN1, PABPN1, and SLC22A17 were identified in obese Korean women (P < 1 × 10(-4)). In the questionnaire investigation, significant differences were found in the number of starvation periods per week, family history of stomach cancer, coffee intake, and trial of weight control in each group.

Conclusion: We discovered several common BMR- and BMI-related genes using GWAS. Although most of these newly established loci were not previously associated with obesity, they may provide new insights into body weight regulation. Our findings of five common genes associated with BMR and BMI in Koreans will serve as a reference for replication and validation of future studies on the metabolic rate.

Keywords: BMI; BMR; GWAS; obesity.