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FTO Gene Polymorphisms at the Crossroads of Metabolic Pathways of Obesity and Epigenetic Influences

Ana-Marija Popović1orcid tiny, Ana Huđek Turković2orcid tiny, Kristina Žuna2#orcid tiny, Višnja Bačun-Družina2orcid tiny, Ivica Rubelj3*orcid tiny and Martina Matovinović4*orcid tiny

1General Hospital Gospić, Kaniška 111, 53000 Gospić, Croatia

2Faculty of Food Technology and Biotechnology University of Zagreb, Pierottijeva 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

3Ruđer Bošković Institute, Bijenička 54, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

4Clinical Hospital Centre Zagreb, Kišpatićeva 12, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia

#Present address: Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Physiology, Pathophysiology and Biophysics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Veterinärplatz 1, 1210 Wien

Article history:

Received: 6 December 2021

Accepted: 9 November 2022

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obesity; FTO gene; single nucleotide polymorphisms; epigenetic influence


In this review, we summarize the current state of knowledge on the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene and its role in obesity. The FTO encoded protein is involved in multiple molecular pathways contributing to obesity as well as other metabolic complexities. This review emphasizes the epigenetic influence on the FTO gene as a new approach in the treatment and management of obesity. Several known substances have a positive effect on reducing FTO expression, depending on the polymorphism of a single nucleotide (SNP) also changes gene expression. Implementing environmental changes could lead to reduced phenotypic manifestation of FTO expression. Treating obesity through FTO gene regulation will have to include various complex signal pathways in which FTO takes part. Identification of FTO gene polymorphisms may be useful for the development of individual obesity management strategies, including the recommendation of taking certain foods and supplements.


*Corresponding author: +385989338565

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