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The neuropeptide Y(2) G-protein-coupled receptor (NPY2R) relays signals from PYY or neuropeptide Y toward satiety and control of body mass. Targeted ablation of the NPY2R locus in mice yields obesity, and studies of NPY2R promoter genetic variation in more than 10,000 human participants indicate its involvement in control of obesity and BMI. Here we searched for genetic variation across the human NPY2R locus and probed its functional effects, especially in the proximal promoter. Twin pair studies indicated substantial heritability for multiple cardiometabolic traits, including BMI, SBP, DBP, and PYY, an endogenous agonist at NPY2R. Systematic polymorphism discovery by resequencing across NPY2R uncovered 21 genetic variants, 10 of which were common [minor allele frequency (MAF) >5%], creating one to two linkage disequilibrium blocks in multiple biogeographic ancestries. In vivo, NPY2R haplotypes were associated with both BMI (P = 3.75E-04) and PYY (P = 4.01E-06). Computational approaches revealed that proximal promoter variants G-1606A, C-599T, and A-224G disrupt predicted IRF1 (A>G), FOXI1 (T>C), and SNAI1 (A>G) response elements. In neuroendocrine cells transfected with NPY2R promoter/luciferase reporter plasmids, all three variants and their resulting haplotypes influenced transcription (G-1606A, P < 2.97E-06; C-599T, P < 1.17E-06; A-224G, P < 2.04E-06), and transcription was differentially augmented or impaired by coexpression of either the cognate full-length transcription factors or their specific siRNAs at each site. Endogenous expression of transcripts for NPY2R, IRF1, and SNAI1 was documented in neuroendocrine cells, and the NPY2R mRNA was differentially expressed in two neuroendocrine tissues (adrenal gland, brainstem) of a rodent model of hypertension and the metabolic syndrome, the spontaneously hypertensive rat. We conclude that common genetic variation in the proximal NPY2R promoter influences transcription factor binding so as to alter gene expression in neuroendocrine cells, and consequently cardiometabolic traits in humans. These results unveil a novel control point, whereby cis-acting genetic variation contributes to control of complex cardiometabolic traits, and point to new transcriptional strategies for intervention into neuropeptide actions and their cardiometabolic consequences.

Citation

Zhiyun Wei, Kuixing Zhang, Gen Wen, Karthika Balasubramanian, Pei-an B Shih, Fangwen Rao, Ryan S Friese, Jose P Miramontes-Gonzalez, Geert W Schmid-Schoenbein, Hyung-Suk Kim, Sushil K Mahata, Daniel T O'Connor. Heredity and cardiometabolic risk: naturally occurring polymorphisms in the human neuropeptide Y(2) receptor promoter disrupt multiple transcriptional response motifs. Journal of hypertension. 2013 Jan;31(1):123-33

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PMID: 23149563

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