"Master Switch" Gene Found That Regulates Body Fat: KLF14
Researchers from King's College London and Oxford University have identified a gene that they call a master switch because it controls other genes found in body fat. The master switch... just call it KLF14.
Scientists had earlier identified that KLF14 is related to Type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels, but they did not know how the gene regulated diabetes and cholesterol genes until the King's College study, led by Tim Spector. Spector's group examined more than 20,000 genes in fat samples taken from 800 British female twins and another 600 fat samples taken from people in Iceland.
Among the fat samples, the team found that KLF14 was linked to a range of metabolic traits, including obesity, body mass index, cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels - that small changes in KLF14 affected changes as far as the subcutaneous fat in muscles and liver tissue, as well as to the body's metabolic performance.
The study is reported in the advance online publication of Nature Genetics. It is hoped that this discovery will enable more specifically targeted drugs that can regulate the impact of KLF14.
Reuters via MSNBC.com