Dietary cholesterol interacts with SREBF1 to modulate obesity in Chinese children

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Sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 gene (SREBF1) is an important candidate gene for obesity that could be affected by cholesterol. Different SREBF1 gene variants may have distinct responses to cholesterol, leading to different risks for obesity and obesity-related metabolic traits. Thus, we performed a gene-by-diet correlation analysis to test whether SREBF1 gene variation modulate the relationship between cholesterol and obesity.

Methods and results

A total of 642 school-aged children in Jinan, China, were selected by stratified cluster nested sampling. Anthropometric and biochemical measurements, as well as genotyping of tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of SREBF1, were performed in this sample. Nutritional intake assessments were completed using a 24-h dietary recall for three consecutive days. Multilevel mixed-effects linear regression was used to test interactions between SREBF1 SNPs and cholesterol intakes for obesity. Results showed that SREBF1 rs2236513/rs2297508/rs4925119 strongly modulated the relationship between cholesterol intake and serum LDL-cholesterol/total cholesterol levels (p < 0.001). While SREBF1 rs4925118 modulated the relationship between cholesterol intake and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance related characteristics (p < 0.05).


These results suggest that cholesterol intake recommendation may need to account for SREBF1 variation.

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