The effect of polymorphism in the intestinal fatty acid-binding protein 2 gene on fat metabolism is associated with gender and obesity amongst non-diabetic Japanese–Americans


*Shuhei Nakanishi, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 5-2 Hijiyama Park, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815, Japan.


Aim:  The role of the codon 54 polymorphism of the fatty acid-binding protein 2 (FABP2) gene on fat metabolism has been controversial. Assuming that the effects of the polymorphism were modulated by gender and obesity which were related to lipid and glucose metabolism, we investigated this polymorphism and its effect on fat metabolism according to such factors.

Methods:  Subjects were Japanese–Americans (123 men and 126 women) who were diagnosed as non-diabetic by a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test at the baseline.

Results:  During approximately 7.8 years, 49 (24 men and 25 women) were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In a Cox proportional hazards model, this polymorphism was not a significant variable in the incidence of diabetes in either gender. Amongst non-obese men with the Thr54 allele, there was a significant elevation of triglycerides (TGs) (p = 0.033) compared with alanine (Ala) homozygotes. Women with the Thr54 allele had significantly elevated total cholesterol (p = 0.033) and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) (p = 0.023) compared with Ala54 homozygotes.

Conclusions:  These results therefore suggested that the effects of the FABP2 polymorphism on TG, LDL-C and body mass index were associated with gender difference and obesity amongst non-diabetic Japanese–American subjects.