Leptin is an adipocyte-derived bloodborne satiety factor that acts on its cognate leptin receptor (Ob-R) in the hypothalamus, thereby regulating food intake and energy expenditure. To explore whether mutations in the Ob-R gene cause obesity in humans, we have searched for mutations in the gene for Ob-Rb, a biologically active receptor isoform, in obese Japanese subjects. We have also examined associations between such mutants and obesity in the Japanese. Genomic DNAs were used as templates in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers selected to amplify exons 2 to 20 of the human Ob-Rb gene. Direct sequence analysis of the PCR products revealed 7 nucleotide sequence variants (Lys109Arg, Gln223Arg, Ser343Ser, Ser492Thr, Lys656Asn, Ala976Asp, and Pro1019Pro) in the Ob-Rb coding region from 17 obese Japanese subjects with a family history of obesity (BMI 39.3±8.4 kg/m2). No missense and nonsense mutations were found such as those in Zucker fatty (fa/fa) rats and Koletsky (fa(k)/fa(k)) rats. Nucleotide substitutions occurred at relatively high frequencies at codons 109, 223, 976, and 1019 (79, 91, 100, and 85%, respectively). Allele frequency of each variant determined by PCR-RFLP and PCR-single strand conformation polymorphism analyses showed no significant differences between 47 obese (BMI 35.1±6.5 kg/m2) and 68 non-obese (BMI 21.6±2.2 kg/m2) subjects. The present study represents the first report of sequence variants of the Ob-Rb gene in the Japanese and provides evidence against either obesity-causing mutations or association of sequence variants with obesity in obese Japanese subjects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism