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Researchers hope to use the new information about the KLF14 gene to control type 2 diabetes and obesity  (Source:
A study of 800 UK female twins shows that the mother's copy of the gene provides the ability to control other genes associated with metabolic traits

Researchers from the University of Oxford and King's College London have made a crucial discovery that could lead to the development of better treatments and maybe even a cure for type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Professor Tim Spector, study leader from the Department of Twin Research at King's College London, and Professor Mark McCarthy, co-author of the University of Oxford, have determined how a previously discovered gene that is linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol acts as a regulator for the gene's that reside within the body's fat. 

KLF14 has been linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels in previous studies. But now, scientists have figured out how this gene acts as a regulator for genes located in far-away body fat.

"KLF14 seems to act as a master switch controlling processes that connect changes in the behavior of subcutaneous fat to disturbances in muscle and liver that contribute to diabetes and other conditions," said McCarthy. "We are working hard right now to understand these processes and how we can use this information to improve treatment of these conditions." 

A child inherits a set of genes from both the mother and the father. In this study, researchers found that the KLF14 gene inherited its activity from the mother while the father's KLF14 gene remains inactive. The KLF14's ability to control distant genes in the body's fat is completely dependent on the mother's version. 

They discovered that the mother's KLF14 gene controls other genes associated with body-mass index (obesity), insulin, glucose levels and cholesterol. This means that KLF14 is a "master switch" that controls and shows the connections between metabolic traits.

Researchers made this discovery by recruiting 800 UK female twin participants and studying over 20,000 genes in subcutaneous fat biopsies. They also looked at genes in subcutaneous fat biopsies from Icelandic participants. Between the two studies, researchers discovered the connections between the KLF14 gene and distant genes associated with metabolic traits.  

"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 Spector. "This has great therapeutic potential particularly as by studying large detailed populations such as the twins we hope to find more of these regulators." 

This study was published in Nature Genetics, and is part of multinational collaboration funded by the Wellcome Trust called the MuTHER study. 

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RE: news flash
By someguy123 on 5/16/2011 3:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
I too used to be very over weight. I'm now 155 and gradually increasing my weight intentionally while lifting.

It's "difficult", but I don't think it's wrong for people to tell you to exercise and eat correctly. Even with variations in your genetic ability to handle calorie consumption, in the end you're merely limited by willpower. It's very, very rare to be unable to gain much weight or lose weight due to genetic issues, and such problems tend to have life threatening side effects.

A lot of people tend to confuse habitual with genetic. Reducing your calories may make you feel a bit hungry all day, and running may wear you out for the first few weeks, but you'll get over it in the long run, and in the end the health and energy benefits are worthwhile.

RE: news flash
By Spuke on 5/16/2011 3:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
I too used to be very over weight. I'm now 155 and gradually increasing my weight intentionally while lifting.
Is it difficult for you to gain weight? I have been pretty skinny for most of my life and got tired of looking like a pre-teen. Once I figured it out, it only took me a year to gain 20 lbs but it took me a while to figure it out.

RE: news flash
By someguy123 on 5/16/2011 4:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
Nah, I'm used to gaining weight if you know what I mean. Hard part is just maintaining the correct amount so I don't stack too much fat as well.

I know a lot of guys had problems though until they realized it was all about calorie intake. Some even go as far as drinking a gallon of milk a day.

RE: news flash
By GulWestfale on 5/16/2011 6:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
a lot of good arguments there, but the real question is this:
is KLF gonna rock you? and is it really the last train to trancentral? and why does it come at 3AM?

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