Scientists in the UK and Switzerland have made a breakthrough in identifying a gene that controls the behaviour of other genes found within fat in the body, and is associated with type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels.
Previous research had shown that the KLF14 gene, known as the “master regulator” gene, was linked to diabetes and cholesterol levels, but this is the first study that has revealed how it does so, as well shown its part in controlling other genes linked to metabolic traits, such as obesity, cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels.
The study, carried out at King’s College London, University of Oxford, The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the University of Geneva, and DeCODE Genetics and published in the journal, Nature Genetics, involved a review of more than 20,000 genes in subcutaneous fat biopsies from 800 female twin volunteers in the UK. It was found that there was a link between the KLF14 gene and the expression levels of multiple distant genes found in fat tissue, and that it operates as a master switch for controlling these genes. These findings were also supported by an independent sample of 600 subcutaneous fat biopsies from patients in Iceland.
Mark McCarthy, who co-led the research, commented “KLF14 seems to act as a master switch controlling processes that connect changes in the behaviour of subcutaneous fat to disturbances in muscle and liver that contribute to diabetes and other conditions.”

Get our free newsletters

Stay up to date with the latest news, research and breakthroughs.

You May Also Like

Twice daily dairy intakes could reduce type 2 diabetes risk

Eating cheese, yoghurt or eggs twice a day could help lower the…

Top diabetes professor drafts risk assessment document for frontline COVID-19 staff

The health and wellbeing of frontline NHS staff has been prioritised among…

Public Health England considers low carb approach for type 2 diabetes

The low carb approach is being considered by the government to be…