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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2013, Article ID 609748, 10 pages
Research Article

DUSP1 Gene Polymorphisms Are Associated with Obesity-Related Metabolic Complications among Severely Obese Patients and Impact on Gene Methylation and Expression

1Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF), Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
3Endocrinology and Nephrology, CHU de Québec Research Center, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 4G2
4Department of Biochemistry, Université de Sherbrooke, ECOGENE-21, Chicoutimi Hospital, Saguenay, Canada G7H 7P2
5Department of Medicine, Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
6Québec Heart and Lung Institute, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 4G5
7Department of Surgery, Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
8Department of Kinesiology, Laval University, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6

Received 3 May 2013; Accepted 11 July 2013

Academic Editor: Sinan Tanyolaç

Copyright © 2013 F. Guénard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The DUSP1 gene encodes a member of the dual-specificity phosphatase family previously identified as being differentially expressed in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) of severely obese men with versus without the metabolic syndrome. Objective. To test the association between DUSP1 polymorphisms, obesity-related metabolic complications, gene methylation, and expression levels in VAT. Methods. The DUSP1 locus and promoter region were sequenced in 25 individuals. SNPs were tested for association with obesity-related complications in a cohort of more than 1900 severely obese individuals. The impact of SNPs on methylation levels of 36 CpG sites and correlations between DNA methylation and gene expression levels in VAT were computed in a subset of 14 samples. Results. Heterozygotes for rs881150 had lower HDL-cholesterol levels (HDL-C; ), and homozygotes for the minor allele of rs13184134 and rs7702178 had increased fasting glucose levels ( and 0.01, resp.). rs881150 was associated with methylation levels of CpG sites located ~1250 bp upstream the transcription start site. Methylation levels of 4 CpG sites were inversely correlated with DUSP1 gene expression. Conclusion. These results suggest that DUSP1 polymorphisms modulate plasma glucose and HDL-C levels in obese patients possibly through alterations of DNA methylation and gene expression levels.