"Master switch" gene for obesity found

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A gene strongly linked to type 2 diabetes and high-density lipoprotein levels, KLF14, serves as a "master switch" to regulate other genes found in body fat, researchers report online May 15 in Nature Genetics.

KLF14, serves as a “master switch” to regulate other genes found in body fat, researchers report online May 15 in Nature Genetics.

An analysis of more than 16,000 genes in subcutaneous fat samples from 776 British female twin volunteers identified a link between the KLF14 gene and levels of other distant genes found in fat tissue, indicating that KLF14 controls these genes. The researchers confirmed their findings in 600 fat samples from another group of subjects in Iceland.

The study authors write that the genes that KLF14 controls are associated with metabolic traits that include body mass index, obesity, cholesterol, insulin, and glucose levels.

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