The study of fat deposition is an important research area with implications for both human health and improvement of animal traits. The pig is one of the most important species to this field, as they are excellent models for research in energy metabolism and fatness. Recent biomedical studies have revealed that different fat depots may possess intrinsic characteristics against each other, which might be partly attributed to genetic factors.
In this study, we examined genetic variation and degree of obesity using data from the Korea Associated Resource cohorts, which included 8,842 individuals, in order to understand the genetic mechanisms underlying depot-specific fat accumulation. Genome-wide association studies of copy number variation (CNV) affecting subscapular (SUB) and suprailiac (SUP) skin fold thickness have identified many chromosomal regions and genes that affect human fat accumulation in male SUB, male SUP, female SUB, and female SUP sites. In order to relate human obesity to pig fatness, we compared human CNV genes to those located in previously known CNV regions identified using 18 diverse pig populations. Results of our comparative analysis revealed that human and pig share multiple candidate CNV genes, and indicated that redundancy of those genes may play roles in pig depot-specific fatness.
Here, we investigate the distribution of the obesity-related CNVs in human genome and present CNV genes as potential candidate genes controlling fat deposition in pig. This comparative study on fat distribution provides a basis for parallel studies aimed at understanding similarities and differences in control of site-specific adiposity in pig and human.