In this review, we discuss the genetic architecture of obesity and the metabolic syndrome, highlighting recent advances in identifying genetic variants and loci responsible for a portion of the variation in components of the metabolic syndrome, namely, adiposity traits, serum HDL and triglycerides, blood pressure, and glycemic traits. We focus particularly on recent progress from large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS), by detailing their successes and how lessons learned can pave the way for future discovery. Results from recent GWAS coalesce with earlier work suggesting numerous interconnections between obesity and the metabolic syndrome, developed through several potentially pleiotropic effects. We detail recent work by way of a case study on the cadherin 13 gene and its relation with adiponectin in the HyperGEN and the Framingham Heart Studies, and its association with obesity and the metabolic syndrome. We provide also a gene network analysis of recent variants related to obesity and metabolic syndrome discovered through genome-wide association studies, and 4 gene networks based on searching the NCBI database.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-108
Number of pages23
JournalEndocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders - Drug Targets
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Common complex disease
  • GWAS
  • Genetics
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Obesity


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