Human Genetics

, Volume 127, Issue 3, pp 287–294 | Cite as

The Q223R polymorphism in LEPR is associated with obesity in Pacific Islanders

  • Takuro FurusawaEmail author
  • Izumi Naka
  • Taro Yamauchi
  • Kazumi Natsuhara
  • Ryosuke Kimura
  • Minato Nakazawa
  • Takafumi Ishida
  • Tsukasa Inaoka
  • Yasuhiro Matsumura
  • Yuji Ataka
  • Nao Nishida
  • Naoyuki Tsuchiya
  • Ryutaro Ohtsuka
  • Jun OhashiEmail author
Original Investigation


Various Pacific Island populations have experienced a marked increase in the prevalence of obesity in past decades. This study examined the association of a promoter polymorphism of the leptin gene (LEP), G-2548A (rs7799039), and two non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms of the leptin receptor gene (LEPR), K109R (rs1137100) and Q223R (rs1137101), with body weight, body mass index (BMI) and obesity (BMI ≥ 30) in Pacific Islanders. A total of 745 Austronesian (AN)-speaking participants were analyzed after adjusting for age, gender, and population differences. The results revealed that carriers of the 223Q alleles of LEPR had significantly higher body weight (P = 0.0009) and BMI (P = 0.0022) than non-carriers (i.e., 223R homozygotes); furthermore, the 223Q carriers also had a significantly higher risk of obesity in comparison to non-carriers (P = 0.0222). The other two polymorphisms, G-2548A and K109R, were associated with neither body weight, BMI, nor obesity. The 223Q allele was widely found among the AN-speaking study subjects, thus suggesting that the LEPR Q223R polymorphism is one of the factors contributing to the high prevalence of obesity in the Pacific Island populations.


Body Mass Index Obesity Solomon Island Q223R Polymorphism 223Q Allele 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to sincerely thank the people of the Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Papua New Guinea for their kind approval and support of our research. We are grateful to Dr. Taniela Palu, Diabetes Clinic, Dr. Viliami Tangi, Minister of Health, Kingdom of Tonga, and Prof. Kazumichi Katayama, Kyoto University for their cooperation in the study of the Tongan populations. We also thank the chiefs, elders, and church leaders, especially Sir. Ikan Rove of the Christian Fellowship Church of the Solomon Islands and staff of the National Gizo Hospital and Helena Goldie Hospital, especially Mr. Ricky Eddie, for their help with the surveys in the Solomon Islands. We also thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions regarding this manuscript. This study was financially supported by the KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takuro Furusawa
    • 1
    Email author
  • Izumi Naka
    • 2
  • Taro Yamauchi
    • 3
  • Kazumi Natsuhara
    • 4
  • Ryosuke Kimura
    • 5
  • Minato Nakazawa
    • 6
  • Takafumi Ishida
    • 7
  • Tsukasa Inaoka
    • 8
  • Yasuhiro Matsumura
    • 9
  • Yuji Ataka
    • 10
  • Nao Nishida
    • 11
  • Naoyuki Tsuchiya
    • 2
  • Ryutaro Ohtsuka
    • 12
  • Jun Ohashi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Asian Studies Network (ASNET), Division for International RelationsThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Doctoral Program in Life System Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human SciencesUniversity of TsukubaIbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Graduate School of Health SciencesHokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan
  4. 4.School of NursingFukuoka Prefectural UniversityFukuokaJapan
  5. 5.Transdisciplinary Research Organization for Subtropical and Island Studies (TRO-SIS)University of the RyukyusOkinawaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Medical SciencesGunma UniversityGunmaJapan
  7. 7.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  8. 8.Department of Human Ecology, Faculty of AgricultureSaga UniversitySagaJapan
  9. 9.Faculty of Health CareKiryu UniversityGunmaJapan
  10. 10.School of Policy StudiesKwansei Gakuin UniversityHyogoJapan
  11. 11.Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of MedicineThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan
  12. 12.Japan Wildlife Research CenterTokyoJapan

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