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Association study of POMC variants with body composition measures and nutrient choice.

Journal article
Authors Andrew Ternouth
Marek K Brandys
Yvonne T van der Schouw
Judith Hendriks
John-Olov Jansson
David Collier
Roger A. H. Adan
Published in European journal of pharmacology
Volume 660
Issue 1
Pages 220–225
ISSN 1879-0712
Publication year 2011
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Pages 220–225
Language en
Keywords POMC, Pro-opiomelanocortin, Melanocortine, Waist–hip ratio, BMI, Gene-association
Subject categories Physiology


Genome linkage scans and candidate gene studies have implicated the pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) locus in traits related to food intake, metabolic function, and body mass index. Here we investigate single nucleotide polymorphisms at the POMC locus in order to evaluate the influence of its genetic variance on body fat distribution and diet in a sample of middle-aged men from The Netherlands. 366 Dutch males from the Hamlet cohort were asked detailed questions about food choice, nutrient intake and exercise. Furthermore, their weight and body fat composition were measured. Each cohort member was genotyped for a set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at the POMC locus. Regression analysis, adjusted for several covariates, was used to test for the association between genetic variants and the phenotypes measured. POMC variation was associated with waist:hip ratio, visceral fat and abdominal fat (rs6713532, P=0.020, 0.019, and 0.021, respectively), and nutrient choice (rs1042571, P=0.034), but in light of limited power and multiple testing these results should be taken with caution. POMC is a strong candidate for involvement in appetite regulation as supported by animal, physiological, and genetic studies and variation at the POMC locus may affect an individual's energy intake which in turn leads to variation in body composition and body fat.

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