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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: So my take on this...
By Mathos on 5/17/2011 1:54:41 AM , Rating: 2
Or if you're like me, both your mother and father are Hypoglycemic(low blood sugar genetically), which eventually burns out the bodies insulin generation ability, due to continuously producing more insulin than your body needs to counter incoming glucose from carbs and refined sugars, and turns to type 2 diabetes. This would be one of those things that this genetic switch would likely have an effect on.

Fat cells always exist in a human body, regardless of body fat percentage we all have the same proportional amount of fat cells determined by out body type. Unless someone has had liposuction this will more or less be true. Fat cells are nothing more than the bodies energy storage, in this case excess glucose, not it also stores some toxins. The more excess glucose the cells store, the bigger they get, thus making a person fat. There are indeed some factors that come into play from certain genetics though. Thyroid problems for example, or hypoglycemia in this case. The reason it plays a factor, is that after years of being overly bombarded with insulin, the fat cells which the body would normally pull energy from with said insulin become insulin resistant. Once this happens it becomes increasingly difficult to lose weight, short of nearly starving yourself. In my case I have to eat less calories than the average person could sustain themselves on, while walking 2-6miles per day outside of working a highly physical job. A job where I load ppl's vehicles with potting soil 40-80lb bags, and bricks, most of the day. As well as moving Grills weighing anywhere from 50-180lbs, and patio set boxes weighing 100+lbs. Obviously I get help with the larger items to save my back. And when I say this, I'm talking about only being able to eat 1800-2400 calories per day to be able to lose anything.

Now when you figure out that the human body is suppose to need between 1200-2000 calories per day to maintain normal function in an average person that should help you figure it out. Rule of thumb last time I read was 10 times body weight in calories per day. so a person weighing 200lbs would need 2000 calories for normal body function and organ/tissue maintenance.

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