Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Genetics of obesity and its measures in India


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      Obesity is one of the largest global health problems associated with increased morbidity and mortality mediated by its association with several other metabolic disorders. The interaction between the genes and environment plays an important role in the manifestation of obesity. Despite a high heritability (40–70%) of obesity, the search for genetic variants associated with obesity susceptibility has been a challenging task. To date, limited studies have been conducted in India, restricted to the validation of few genetic variants identified by genomewide association studies. In this critical review, we sought to examine the current knowledge ofgenetic basis of obesity and its measures in the Indian population. A comprehensive literature search was performed using ‘PubMed’, ‘Medline’ and ‘IndMed’ databases to search for citations published until 31st May 2017, using the key terms as ‘Genetics’ AND ‘obesity’ AND ‘India’. We identified 48 potential studies which fulfilled the eligibility criteria. The findings indicated thatFTO , MC4R, TNF-α, PPAR-γ , UCP1, UCP2, LPL, LEPR, AMD1, IL6, APOE, ADIPOQ, DOK5, INSIG2, PBEF1, IL6R, Myostatin, CXCR4, HHEX, IRX3, POMC, NGN3, FOXA2, MTR, TCN and CHDH are some of the important genes studied among the Indian population. Importantly, the role of sexual dimorphism in the genetic regulation of obesity and body fat distribution was also reported in a few studies. Further, seven biological pathways have been identified that contribute to obesity pathogenesis in India. In conclusion, further exploration of pathway-based research on genetics of obesity can be useful for better understanding thepathophysiology of obesity in India.

    • Genetics of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in Asian populations


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      Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver without any history of chronic alcohol consumption. It encompasses a wide spectrum of diseases that range from simple steatosis to nonalcoholicsteatohepatitis. NAFLD is strongly associated with obesity, insulin resistance / type-2 diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome. NAFLD is a complex disorder; environmental and genetic factors interact with NAFLD manifestation and determine its progression. In this review, an attempt was made to provide current information on the genetic variants of NAFLD in Asian populations. Literature search was performed by using PubMed, Medline and Google Scholar database. Candidate gene, validation and genomewide association studies (GWASs) were included in this review. A total of 41 studies fulfilled inclusion criteria of which 12 candidate gene studies exclusively focussed on the PNPLA3 gene and 17 other studies on other important candidate genes such as NCANCILP2, PPARG,AGTR1, FABP1, APOC3 etc. reported significant association with NAFLD. Eight validation studies identified associations of variants on PNPLA3, LYPLAL1, TM6SF2, ADIPOR2, STAT3, GCKR, SAMM50 etc. with NAFLD. Thus, so far, four GWASs have been conducted in Asian population that reported PNPLA3, SAMM50, PARVB and GATAD2A genes which were significantly associated with NAFLD. Findings indicate that PNPLA3, APOC3, PPARG, NCAN and GCKR genes emerge out to be the important biological markers associated with NAFLD.

    • Genetic underpinnings of lung function and COPD


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      Spirometry based measurement of lung function is a global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease (GOLD) standard to diagnose chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide. Theenvironmental and behavioural risk factors for COPD includes tobacco smoking, air pollutants and biomass fuel exposure, which can induce one or more abnormal lung function patterns. While smoking remains the primary risk factor, only 15–20% smokers develop COPD, indicating that the genetic factors are also likely to play a role. According to the study of Global Burden of Disease 2015, ∼174 million people across the world have COPD. From a comprehensive literature search conducted using the ‘PubMed’ and ‘GWAS Catalogue’ databases, and reviewing the literature available, only a limited number of studies were identified which hadattempted to investigate the genetics of COPD and lung volumes, implying a huge research gap. With the advent of genomewide association studies several genetic variants linked to lung function and COPD, like HHIP, HTR4, ADAM19 and GSTCD etc., have been found and validated in different population groups, suggesting their potential role in determining lung volume and risk for COPD. This article aims at reviewing the present knowledge of the genetics of lung function and COPD.

    • Genomics of body fat distribution


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      Central obesity and body fat distribution measured by waist circumference (WC) and waist hip ratio (WHR) are good predictors of cardio metabolic adversities independent of overall adiposity. There are substantial evidence that body fat distribution is controlled by genetic factors. Even after accounting for body mass index (BMI), individual variation in body fat distribution is heritable, with estimates ranging from 31–76%. Individuals genetically predisposed to store more fat in visceral depots are at higher risk of developing metabolic complications. Several linkage and genomewide association studies (GWAS) for measures of body fat distribution uncovered numerous loci harbouring genes potentially regulating body fat distribution. Additionally, genes with fat depot specific expression patterns (especially, subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) and visceral adipose tissue (VAT)) have provided plausible candidate genes involved in body fat regulation. Further, sexual dimorphism have revealed a remarkable heterogeneity in the genetic regulation of body fat distribution. More than hundred loci have been identified through GWAS, displaying more pronounced effect in females than males, suggesting that both sexes share potentially different biological architecture in traits related to body fat distribution. Moreover, the handful of genes identified by GWAS have been validated in different population groups. This article aims at reviewing the current knowledge of genomic basis of body fat distribution.

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