The recent cloning of a gene that codes for a novel uncoupling protein, UCP2, which is expressed in a wide range of adult human tissues, has raised the possibility that it may be involved in regulation of energy balance. To explore this concept we have investigated potential linkage relationships between three microsatellite markers which encompass the UCP2 gene location on 11q13 with resting metabolic rate (RMR), body mass index, percentage body fat (%FAT) and fat mass (FM) in 640 individuals from 155 pedigrees from the Quebec Family Study. Using a linkage analysis strategy based on sibling, avuncular, grandparental and cousin pairs, strong evidence of linkage was found between the marker D11S911 (P = 0.000002) and RMR, with more moderate evidence for D11S916 (P = 0.006) and D11S1321 (P = 0.02). Suggestive evidence of linkage was also observed between D11S1321 and %FAT (P = 0.04) and FM (P = 0.02). It is concluded that the three markers encompassing the UCP2 locus and spanning a 5 cM region on 11q13 are linked to resting energy expenditure in adult humans. The evidence is strong enough to warrant a search for DNA sequence variation in the gene itself.
ASJC Scopus subject areas