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Master Switch that controls fat found

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(Best Syndication News) Researchers at the King’s College in London and the University of Oxford found a gene that controls fat cells. It was already known that the KLF14 gene is linked to type-2 diabetes and cholesterol levels, but researchers now know it controls much more.

They say there is an “association” between the KLF14 gene and the expression levels of multiple distant genes found in fat tissue. The KLF14 gene is a “master switch”. It controls the body-mass index (obesity), cholesterol, insulin and glucose levels.

The metabolic traits are inherited from the mother. “The copy of KLF14 from the father is switched off, meaning that the copy from the mother is the active gene,” the King’s College reported Monday.

"This is the first major study that shows how small changes in one master regulator gene can cause a cascade of other metabolic effects in other genes," said Professor Tim Spector from the Department of Twin Research at King’s College. “

The discovery will likely lead to treatments for conditions related to obesity. “We are working hard right now to understand these processes and how we can use this information to improve treatment of these conditions”, said Professor Mark McCarthy from the University of Oxford.

The research is published in the journal Nature Genetics. A grant by the Wellcome Trust funded the five-year MuTHER study (Multiple Tissue Human Expression Resource).

By: Jeffrey Workman
Health Reporter

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