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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2011, Article ID 269043, 4 pages
Research Article

Sequence Analysis of the UCP1 Gene in a Severe Obese Population from Southern Italy

1Fondazione IRCCS SDN, Istituto di Ricerca Diagnostica e Nucleare, Via Gianturco 113, 80143 Naples, Italy
2Centro Interuniversitario di Studi e Ricerche sull'Obesità e Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
3CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate S.C. a R.L., Via Gaetano Salvatore 486, 80145, Naples, Italy
4Dipartimento di Biochimica e Biotecnologie Mediche, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Pansini 5, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy
5Fondazione Stella Maris Mediterraneo, Centro Disturbi del Comportamento Alimentare e del Peso “G. Gioia”, Chiaromonte, C/da S. Lucia, 85100, Chiaromonte, Potenza, Italy
6Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Preventive, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Via Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy

Received 1 December 2010; Accepted 8 April 2011

Academic Editor: Francesco Saverio Papadia

Copyright © 2011 Giuseppe Labruna 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.


Brown adipose tissue, where Uncoupling Protein 1 (UCP1) activity uncouples mitochondrial respiration, is an important site of facultative energy expenditure. This tissue may normally function to prevent obesity. Our aim was to investigate by sequence analysis the presence of UCP1 gene variations that may be associated with obesity. We studied 100 severe obese adults (BMI > 40 kg/m2) and 100 normal-weight control subjects (BMI range = 19–24.9 kg/m2). We identified 7 variations in the promoter region, 4 in the intronic region and 4 in the exonic region. Globally, 72% of obese patients bore UCP1 polymorphisms. Among UCP1 variants, g.IVS4−208T>G SNP was associated with obesity (OR: 1.77; 95% CI = 1.26–2.50; ). Further, obese patients bearing the g.−451C>T (CT+TT) or the g.940G>A (GA+AA) genotypes showed a higher BMI than not polymorphic obese patients ( and , resp.). In conclusion, UCP1 SNPs could represent “thrifty” factors that promote energy storage in prone subjects.