Common variants in the CD36 gene are associated with oral fat perception, fat preferences, and obesity in African Americans

Kathleen L. Keller, Lisa C.H. Liang, Johannah Sakimura, Daniel May, Christopher Van Belle, Cameron Breen, Elissa Driggin, Beverly J. Tepper, Patricia C. Lanzano, Liyong Deng, Wendy K. Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Animal studies show that CD36, a fatty acid translocase, is involved in fat detection and preference, but these findings have not been reported in humans. The objective of this study was to determine whether human genetic variation in 5 common CD36 polymorphisms is associated with oral fat perception of Italian salad dressings, self-reported acceptance of high-fat foods and obesity in African-American adults (n = 317). Ratings of perceived oiliness, fat content, and creaminess were assessed on a 170-mm visual analogue scale (VAS) in response to salad dressings that were 5%, 35%, and 55% fat-by-weight content. Acceptance of added fats and oils and high-fat foods was self-reported and anthropometric measures were taken in the laboratory. DNA was isolated from saliva and genotyped at 5 CD36 polymorphisms. Three polymorphisms, rs1761667, rs3840546, and rs1527483 were associated with the outcomes. Participants with the A/A genotype at rs1761667 reported greater perceived creaminess, regardless of the fat concentration of the salad dressings (P < 0.01) and higher mean acceptance of added fats and oils (P = 0.02) compared to those with other genotypes at this site. Individuals who had C/T or T/T genotypes at rs1527483 also perceived greater fat content in the salad dressings, independent of fat concentration (P = 0.03). BMI and waist circumference were higher in participants who were homozygous for a deletion (D/D) at rs3840546, compared to I/D or D/D individuals (P 0.001), but only 2 D/D individuals were tested, so this finding needs replication. This is the first study to demonstrate an association between common variants in CD36 and fat ingestive behaviors in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1066-1073
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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