Molecular Biomarkers for Weight Control in Obese Individuals Subjected to a Multiphase Dietary Intervention

Jennifer Bolton, Emilie Montastier, Jerome Carayol, Sophie Bonnel, Lucile Mir, Marie-Adeline Marques, Arne Astrup, Wim Saris, Jason Iacovoni, Nathalie Villa-Vialaneix, Armand Valsesia, Dominique Langin, Nathalie Viguerie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Context: Although calorie restriction has proven beneficial for weight loss, long-term weight control is variable between individuals.

Objective: To identify biomarkers of successful weight control during a dietary intervention (DI).

Design, Setting, and Participants: Adipose tissue (AT) transcriptomes were compared between 21 obese individuals who either maintained weight loss or regained weight during the DI. Results were validated on 310 individuals from the same study using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and protein levels of potential circulating biomarkers measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Intervention: Individuals underwent 8 weeks of low-calorie diet, then 6 months of ad libitum diet.

Outcome Measure: Weight changes at the end of the DI.

Results: We evaluated six genes that had altered expression during DI, encode secreted proteins, and have not previously been implicated in weight control (EGFL6, FSTL3, CRYAB, TNMD, SPARC, IGFBP3), as well as genes for which baseline expression differed between those with good and poor weight control (ASPN, USP53). Changes in plasma concentrations of EGFL6, FSTL3, and CRYAB mirrored AT messenger RNA expression; all decreased during DI in individuals with good weight control. ASPN and USP53 had higher baseline expression in individuals who went on to have good weight control. Expression quantitative trait loci analysis found polymorphisms associated with expression levels of USP53 in AT. A regulatory network was identified in which transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) was responsible for downregulation of certain genes during DI in good controllers. Interestingly, ASPN is a TGF-beta 1 inhibitor.

Conclusions: We found circulating biomarkers associated with weight control that could influence weight management strategies and genes that may be prognostic for successful weight control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2751-2761
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


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