Turn Off Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes may be controlled by KLF14

(RxWiki News) Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just turn off a gene in our body so that we don’t have to watch what we eat or exercise? Life would be so simple if only that were possible.

A “master switch” gene has been found to be linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels. The master controller has been found to regulate other traits that could lead to obesity. The finding of the master controller may lead to future treatments to fight obesity and other diseases linked to obesity.

"Master gene found to be linked to type 2 diabetes and obesity."

The KLF14 gene was already known to be linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels. King’s College London and the University of Oxford have found the process by which the gene works and it's role in controlling other genes.

The researchers studied 20,000 genes from 800 UK female twin volunteers. An association between the KLF14 gene and expression levels of distant genes in fat tissue was found proving that the KLF14 acts as a master switch.

Other genes the KLF14 controlled included body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels, which are all closely connected to metabolic traits.

An interesting thing about this particular gene though is that it is inherited from the mother.

This study is the first to show the cascade effect in other genes in response to the master switch. With this information we are steps closer to finding therapeutic treatment.

More research needs to be done to understand the process of the changes in behavior of the fat tissue in order to improve treatment.

The Study

  • KLF14 gene prime suspect linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels
  • 20,000 genes from 800 UK female twin volunteers
  • Confirmation from 600 subcutaneous fat biopsies from Icelandic subjects
  • KLF14 controlled body mass index (BMI), cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels
  • KLF14 inherited from mother
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Review Date: 
May 16, 2011