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The impact of intronic single nucleotide polymorphisms and ethnic diversity for studies on the obesity gene FTO


Dr JA Jacobsson, Department of Neuroscience, Unit of Functional Pharmacology, Uppsala University, Husargatan 3, Box 593, 75124 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail:


In 2007, the first common genetic variants were identified, which undoubtedly affect our susceptibility to obesity. These variants are located in the fat mass and obesity-associated gene FTO. Since then, over 50 loci for common obesity have been identified. As the research on these loci is still at an early stage, there is a great need to review, for clarification purposes, the current research on FTO, as this is likely to influence future studies. Based on the current knowledge, FTO seems to be directly involved in the regulation of energy intake, but there is an urgent need for the identification of regulatory polymorphisms. Thus, herein, we discuss current knowledge and highlight putative functional regions in FTO based on published data and computer-based analysis.