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SNPs in the IGF2 gene are associated with body weight in adults
Edward R. Winstead

Researchers have identified associations between variants of the insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) gene and body weight in a population of British men. They found statistical evidence that three single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, in the IGF2 gene were potential determinants of body weight among more than 2,500 middle-aged Caucasian males.

Sandra D. O'Dell, of the University of Southampton School of Medicine in the U.K., led the study. Her team previously reported an association between the Apal polymorphism in IGF2 and body mass in a similar study population.

To localize possible genetic effects on weight regulation, the researchers have now tested associations for 11 more markers spanning the IGF2 region. The markers included seven newly identified SNPs, according to a paper in Human Molecular Genetics.

How the SNPs may affect gene function is at present unknown. However, the study's findings serve as an important confirmation that variation at this genetic locus "is a significant determinant of body weight in middle-aged males," the researchers write.

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Gaunt, T.R. et al. Positive associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms in the IGF2 gene region and body mass index in adult males. Hum Mol Genet 10, 1491-1501 (July 1, 2001).

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