A novel homozygous missence mutation of melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) in a Japanese woman with obesity

Hiromasa Kobayashi, Yoshihiro Ogawa, Mitsuyo Shintani, Ken Ebihara, Makiko Shimodahira, Toshio Iwakura, Megumu Hino, Takashi Ishihara, Katsuji Ikekubo, Hiroyuki Kurahachi, Kazuwa Nakao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) is a member of the seven membrane-spanning G protein-coupled receptor superfamily and signals through the activation of adenylyl cyclase. The MC4R mutations are the most common known monogenic cause of human obesity. However, no such mutations have been found in Japanese obese subjects. Here we report a novel homozygous missense mutation of MC4R (G98R) in a nondiabetic Japanese woman with severe early-onset obesity, which is located in its second transmembrane domain. Her birth weight was 3,360 g, and she gained weight progressively from 10 months of age. At 40 years of age, her weight reached 160 kg and a BMI of 62 kg/m2. Her parents, who are heterozygous for the mutation, have BMIs of 26 and 27 kg/m2. In vitro transient transfection assays revealed no discernable agonist ligand binding and cAMP production in HEK293 cells expressing the mutant receptor, indicating a severe loss-of-function mutation. This study represents the first demonstration of a pathogenic mutation of MC4R in Japan and will provide further insight into the pathophysiologic role of the hypothalamic melanocortin system in human obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-246
Number of pages4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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