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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757


DANTAS, Vitor G.L.; FURTADO-ALLE, Lupe; SOUZA, Ricardo L.R.  and  CHAUTARD-FREIRE-MAIA, Eleidi A.. Obesity and variants of the GHRL (ghrelin) and BCHE (butyrylcholinesterase) genes. Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2011, vol.34, n.2, pp.205-207. ISSN 1415-4757.

Ghrelin coded by the GHRL gene is related to weight-gain, its deactivation possibly depending on its hydrolyzation by butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) encoded by the BCHE gene, an enzyme already associated with the body mass index (BMI). The aim was to search for relationships between SNPs of the GHRL and BCHE genes with BChE activity, BMI and obesity in 144 obese and 153 nonobese Euro-Brazilian male blood donors. In the obese individuals, a significant association with higher BChE activity, in the 72LM+72MM; -116GG genotype class (GHRL and BCHE genes, respectively) was noted. No significant differences were found otherwise, through comparisons between obese and control individuals, of genotype and allele frequencies in SNPs of the GHRL gene (Arg51Gln and Leu72Met), or mean BMI between 72LL and 72LM+72MM genotypes. Although there appears to be no direct relationship between the examined GHRL SNPs and BMI, the association of the 72M SNP with higher BChE activity in obese subjects probably points to a regulatory mechanism, thereby implying the influence of the GHRL gene on BChE expression, and a consequential metabolic role in the complex process of fat utilization.

Keywords : BCHE gene; body-mass index; butyrylcholinesterase; ghrelin; GHRL gene; obesity.

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