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Analysis of the contribution of FTO, NPC1, ENPP1, NEGR1, GNPDA2 and MC4R genes to obesity in Mexican children

Aurora Mejía-Benítez1, Miguel Klünder-Klünder2, Loic Yengo34, David Meyre5, Celia Aradillas6, Esperanza Cruz6, Elva Pérez-Luque7, Juan Manuel Malacara6, Maria Eugenia Garay7, Jesús Peralta-Romero8, Samuel Flores-Huerta2, Jaime García-Mena1, Philippe Froguel349, Miguel Cruz8* and Amélie Bonnefond1034*

Author Affiliations

1 Departamento de Genética y Biología Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico City, Mexico

2 Community Health Research Department, Hospital Infantil de México Federico Gómez, Ministry of Health (SSA), Mexico City, Mexico

3 CNRS-UMR8199, Lille Pasteur Institute, Lille, France

4 Lille Nord de France University, Lille, France

5 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Michael DeGroote Centre for Learning & Discovery, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

6 Faculty of Medicine, University of San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi, Mexico

7 Medical Science Department, University of Guanajuato, Guanajuato, Mexico

8 Medical Research Unit in Biochemistry, UMAE Bernardo Sepúlveda, IMSS, Mexico City, Mexico

9 Department of Genomics of Common Disease, School of Public Health, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK

10 Present address: Inserm-U695, Paris 7 University, Paris, France

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BMC Medical Genetics 2013, 14:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-14-21

Published: 1 February 2013



Recent genome wide association studies (GWAS) and previous positional linkage studies have identified more than 50 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with obesity, mostly in Europeans. We aimed to assess the contribution of some of these SNPs to obesity risk and to the variation of related metabolic traits, in Mexican children.


The association of six European obesity-related SNPs in or near FTO, NPC1, ENPP1, NEGR1, GNPDA2 and MC4R genes with risk of obesity was tested in 1,463 school-aged Mexican children (Ncases = 514; Ncontrols = 949). We also assessed effects of these SNPs on the variation of body mass index (BMI), fasting serum insulin levels, fasting plasma glucose levels, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in a subset of 1,171 nonobese Mexican children.


We found a significant effect of GNPDA2 rs10938397 on risk of obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30; P = 1.34 × 10-3). Furthermore, we found nominal associations between obesity risk or BMI variation and the following SNPs: ENPP1 rs7754561, MC4R rs17782313 and NEGR1 rs2815752. Importantly, the at-risk alleles of both MC4R rs17782313 and NPC1 rs1805081 showed significant effect on increased fasting glucose levels (β = 0.36 mmol/L; P = 1.47 × 10-3) and decreased fasting serum insulin levels (β = −0.10 μU/mL; P = 1.21 × 10-3), respectively.


Our present results suggest that some obesity-associated SNPs previously reported in Europeans also associate with risk of obesity, or metabolic quantitative traits, in Mexican children. Importantly, we found new associations between MC4R and fasting glucose levels, and between NPC1 and fasting insulin levels.

Obesity; Mexican children; Single nucleotide polymorphism