Molecular genetics of human obesity: A comprehensive review

C R Biol. 2017 Feb;340(2):87-108. doi: 10.1016/j.crvi.2016.11.007. Epub 2017 Jan 13.


Obesity and its related health complications is a major problem worldwide. Hypothalamus and their signalling molecules play a critical role in the intervening and coordination with energy balance and homeostasis. Genetic factors play a crucial role in determining an individual's predisposition to the weight gain and being obese. In the past few years, several genetic variants were identified as monogenic forms of human obesity having success over common polygenic forms. In the context of molecular genetics, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) approach and their findings signified a number of genetic variants predisposing to obesity. However, the last couple of years, it has also been noticed that alterations in the environmental and epigenetic factors are one of the key causes of obesity. Hence, this review might be helpful in the current scenario of molecular genetics of human obesity, obesity-related health complications (ORHC), and energy homeostasis. Future work based on the clinical discoveries may play a role in the molecular dissection of genetic approaches to find more obesity-susceptible gene loci.

Keywords: Energy homeostasis; Epigenetics; GWAS; ORHC; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetics, Medical*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Obesity / complications
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Obesity / metabolism