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Central abdominal fat is a strong risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To identify common variants influencing central abdominal fat, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide association analysis for waist circumference (WC). In total, three loci reached genome-wide significance. In stage 1, 31,373 individuals of Caucasian descent from eight cohort studies confirmed the role of FTO and MC4R and identified one novel locus associated with WC in the neurexin 3 gene [NRXN3 (rs10146997, p = 6.4x10(-7))]. The association with NRXN3 was confirmed in stage 2 by combining stage 1 results with those from 38,641 participants in the GIANT consortium (p = 0.009 in GIANT only, p = 5.3x10(-8) for combined analysis, n = 70,014). Mean WC increase per copy of the G allele was 0.0498 z-score units (0.65 cm). This SNP was also associated with body mass index (BMI) [p = 7.4x10(-6), 0.024 z-score units (0.10 kg/m(2)) per copy of the G allele] and the risk of obesity (odds ratio 1.13, 95% CI 1.07-1.19; p = 3.2x10(-5) per copy of the G allele). The NRXN3 gene has been previously implicated in addiction and reward behavior, lending further evidence that common forms of obesity may be a central nervous system-mediated disorder. Our findings establish that common variants in NRXN3 are associated with WC, BMI, and obesity.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pgen.1000539

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS genetics

Publication Date

26/06/2009

Volume

5

Addresses

Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Keywords

Humans, Obesity, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Body Mass Index, Cohort Studies, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Aged, Middle Aged, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Male, Waist Circumference, Genome-Wide Association Study