R. G. Walters, S. Jacquemont, A. Valsesia, A. J. de Smith, D. Martinet, J. Andersson, M. Falchi, F. Chen, J. Andrieux, S. Lobbens, B. Delobel, F. Stutzmann, J. S. El-Sayed Moustafa, J.-C. Chèvre, C. Lecoeur, V. Vatin, S. Bouquillon, J. L. Buxton, O. Boute, M. Holder-Espinasse, J.-M. Cuisset, M.-P. Lemaitre, A.-E. Ambresin, A. Brioschi, M. Gaillard, V. Giusti, F. Fellmann, A. Ferrarini, N. Hadjikhani, D. Campion, A. Guilmatre, A. Goldenberg, N. Calmels, J.-L. Mandel, C. Le Caignec, A. David, B. Isidor, M.-P. Cordier, S. Dupuis-Girod, A. Labalme, D. Sanlaville, M. Béri-Dexheimer, P. Jonveaux, B. Leheup, K. Õunap, E. G. Bochukova, E. Henning, J. Keogh, R. J. Ellis, K. D. MacDermot, M. M. van Haelst, C. Vincent-Delorme, G. Plessis, R. Touraine, A. Philippe, V. Malan, M. Mathieu-Dramard, J. Chiesa, B. Blaumeiser, R. F. Kooy, R. Caiazzo, M. Pigeyre, B. Balkau, R. Sladek, S. Bergmann, V. Mooser, D. Waterworth, A. Reymond, P. Vollenweider, G. Waeber, A. Kurg, P. Palta, T. Esko, A. Metspalu, M. Nelis, P. Elliott, A.-L. Hartikainen, M. I. McCarthy, L. Peltonen, L. Carlsson, P. Jacobson, L. Sjöström, N. Huang, M. E. Hurles, S. O’Rahilly, I. S. Farooqi, K. Männik, M.-R. Jarvelin, F. Pattou, D. Meyre, A. J. Walley, L. J. M. Coin, A. I. F. Blakemore, P. Froguel & J. S. Beckmann
Genetic link to obesity
Obesity is a highly heritable disorder but the genetic associations reported to date account for only a small percentage of the inherited variation in body mass index. Two groups report deletions on chromosome16p11.2 that may explain part of the ‘missing heritability’ in terms of ‘high-penetrance’ mutations that are rare but when present are very often associated with severe obesity. This is in contrast to more common gene defects that are less closely associated with clinical symptoms. Bochukova et al. identified rare recurrent copy number variants in 300 patients with severe early-onset obesity, caused by deletions involving several genes including SH2B1, known to be involved in leptin and insulin signalling. Many of the patients also suffered neurodevelopmental disorders. Walters et al. identified deletions of at least 593 kilobases on chromosome 16p11.2 in 31 patients with a previously unrecognized type of extreme obesity. The strategy they used to identify the lesion — using small well-phenotyped cohorts of extreme phenotypes with targeted follow-up in genome-wide association studies and population cohorts — shows promise as a means of identifying ‘missing heritability’ in complex metabolic diseases more generally.
Letter: Large, rare chromosomal deletions associated with severe early-onset obesity
Elena G. Bochukova, Ni Huang, Julia Keogh, Elana Henning, Carolin Purmann, Kasia Blaszczyk, Sadia Saeed, Julian Hamilton-Shield, Jill Clayton-Smith, Stephen O’Rahilly, Matthew E. Hurles & I. Sadaf Farooqi
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Letter: A new highly penetrant form of obesity due to deletions on chromosome 16p11.2