Objective: To identify novel polymorphisms in the genes encoding the transcription factors CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α, β and δ ( CEBPA, CEBPB, CEBPD) and investigate associations between polymorphisms and obesity-related phenotypes.
Methods: Denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to screen for novel gene variants and polymorphisms were genotyped in stored DNA from participants of the Leeds Family Study (537 subjects from 89 families). Genotype and haplotype analyses were carried out in STATA and PBAT, respectively.
Results: Twenty-five polymorphisms were identified; 11 in CEBPA, 12 in CEBPB and 2 in CEBPD. Several allelic variants were associated at a nominal 5% level with waist-to-hip ratio (-919G>A in CEBPA, -412G>T and 646C>T in CEBPB), leptin (1558G>A in CEBPA, -1051A>G and 1383T>- in CEBPB) and adiponectin (1382G>T and 1903G>T in CEBPB). Effects of CEBPA and CEBPB allelic variants were independent, but variants within each gene were in linkage disequilibrium. Several associations were observed between other obesity-related traits and allelic variants in CEBPA and CEBPB, but not CEBPD.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that common allelic variants in CEBPA and CEBPB could influence abdominal obesity and related metabolic abnormalities associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in healthy White Northern European families, although results require independent confirmation.