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Gene Linked to Type 2, Cholesterol and Obesity


May 30, 2011

Gene link between Type 2 Cholesterol, Glucose and Insulin

Here's news that has been receiving big play in U.S. and European media: British scientists have found that a gene called KLF14 acts as a "master switch" that controls other genes found in body fat-genes that are major factors in such conditions as type 2 diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and levels of glucose and insulin. The finding, by researchers at King's College London and Oxford University, could lead to treatments for diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic disorders by targeting the gene.

Previously KLF14 was a known link to type 2 and high cholesterol. But, as the researchers found, the gene's role as a master regulator of fat cell genes makes it a more significant factor in metabolic diseases than previously thought.

The British research team looked at more than 20,000 genes from fat samples taken from two separate groups of volunteers. The first group was 800 British female twins, and the second was 600 Icelanders. The scientists found that KLF14 directly affected the levels of other genes found in fat, revealing its role as the "master switch" that controls the actions of those genes.

Those genes, in turn, affect several metabolic conditions associated with type 2 diabetes, including body mass index, blood glucose and insulin levels, and being overweight. The next step is to look for ways to manipulate KLF14 so that its signals to other genes do not create metabolic disorders.

The study was published in the journal Nature Genetics.

 


Categories: Cholesterol, Diabetes, Diabetes, Insulin, Obesity, Type 2 Issues



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Comments

Posted by Anonymous on 31 May 2011

The key word is "could" lead to new treatments but it won't. We just don't have the technology or know how to translate it into something more than academia fodder. It's good for the text books.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 June 2011

"It could lead to treatments..." but why would you want to fix the cash cow?! Millions of dollars are made on diabetic patients (labs, meds, doctor visits,etc.). Where is job security when you fix the cash cow? I would love to see more progress made toward a cure but my dark side suspects that as long as diabetics are good sources of income for a huge and powerful industry, the future does not look promising.


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