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Master regulator gene found to be responsible for obesity and diabetes, says study

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 Londo, 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.”

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