The team of the Biobank Lab published paper about genetic background of obesity and overweight in Polish population. Article is published in OPEN ACCESS mode in PLoS ONE. Enjoy the lecture.

Genetic association of FTO/IRX region with obesity and overweight in the Polish population




Marta Sobalska-Kwapis1,2, Aleksandra Suchanecka2, Marcin Słomka1,2, Anna Siewierska-Górska3, Ewa Kępka3, Dominik Strapagiel1,2
1Biobank Lab, Department of Molecular Biophysics, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland Consortium, Łódź, Poland
3Department of Molecular Biophysics, University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland
4Department of Medical Microbiology, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands



Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified many loci associated with body mass index (BMI) in many different populations. Variants in the FTO locus are reported to be one of the strongest genetic predictors of obesity. Recent publications pointed also to a topologically associated domain (TAD) which is identified as a novel region affecting BMI. The TAD area encompasses the IRXB cluster (IRX3IRX5IRX6), FTO and RPGRIP1L genes.


In this study, we investigated the relationship between variation of the FTO and IRX genes and obesity in Poles. We presented a case—control association analysis (normal versus overweight and/or obesity group) of Polish adult individuals (N = 5418). We determined whether or not the chromosomal region 16:53 500 000–55 500 000 contains polymorphic variants which are correlated with BMI in Polish population, including sex and age stratified analysis.


The obtained results showed that the problem of weight-height abnormalities differently affects populations of Polish women and men (χ2 = 187.1; p<0.0001). From 353 SNPs enrolled to this study, 86 were statistically significant (highest χ2 = 15.72; p = 7.35E-05 observed for rs1558902). Linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis revealed 61 blocks in the tested region of chromosome 16, with 24 SNPs located within the same block (block 8) of approximately 40 kb, in almost complete LD (|D’|>0.98, r2>0.80). We confirmed presence of the genetic susceptibility loci located in intron 1 of the FTO gene, which were correlated with BMI in our study group. For the first time, our analyses revealed strong association of FTO intronic variants (block 8) with overweight in group of men only. We have also identified association of the IRX region with overweight and/or obesity in Polish individuals.


Our study demonstrated how tested SNPs make differential contributions to obesity and overweight risk. We revealed sex dependent differences in the distribution of tested loci which are associated with BMI in the population of Poles.


This work was supported by the Polish POIG grant 01.01.02-10-005/08 TESTOPLEK from the European Regional Development Fund and through the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education Grant DIR/WK/2017/01. 


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