The Trp64Arg polymorphism of the beta3-adrenergic receptor gene and obesity in Chinese subjects with components of the metabolic syndrome

G N Thomas, B Tomlinson, J C Chan, R P Young, J A Critchley

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    BACKGROUND: In regions such as Hong Kong, rapid economic development has led to lifestyle alterations characterized by increases in energy and fat intake and reduction in physical activity. These changes have been associated with a dramatic increase in the prevalence of diabetes and related diseases of the metabolic syndrome.

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate if a common polymorphism (Trp64Arg) of the beta3-adrenergic receptor gene, previously implicated as predisposing to type 2 diabetes mellitus or obesity in other populations, has a role in the apparent susceptibility of Hong Kong Chinese to diabetes and related disorders.

    METHOD: A PCR-based protocol was used to genotype 802 Southern Chinese subjects who were either healthy or had one or more of the metabolic disorders including diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidaemia.

    RESULTS: The frequencies of the mutant A allele (12.7%) and AA genotype (1.7%) did not differ, by the chi2 test, in any patient group with diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidaemia, alone or in combination, compared to healthy controls. Using the t-test in the 802 subjects, those carrying the mutant A allele had evidence of increased obesity with a significantly (all P<0.05) higher body mass index (BMI, kg/m2) and also lower HDL-cholesterol. BMI was also elevated in subjects with the A allele in the separate groups with diabetes, dyslipidaemia or hypertension. Stepwise multiple regression showed this polymorphism to be an independent predictor of BMI.

    CONCLUSION: These data do not support any direct involvement of the Trp64Arg polymorphism in the development of diabetes, hypertension or dyslipidaemia in Chinese subjects, but do suggest a relationship with obesity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)545-51
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2000


    • Adult
    • Arginine
    • Body Constitution
    • Body Mass Index
    • China
    • Female
    • Genotype
    • Humans
    • Male
    • Middle Aged
    • Obesity
    • Polymorphism, Genetic
    • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta
    • Receptors, Adrenergic, beta-3
    • Tryptophan


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