Scientists find master gene for obesity

| 17/05/2011

(Medicalnews): A master regulator gene which causes obesity and is linked to diabetes and cholesterol and controls the behaviour of distant genes that exist inside fat cells has been identified, researchers from King's College London and the University of Oxford wrote in the journal Nature Genetics. The authors say their discovery may help toward developing more effective treatments for obesity-related illnesses, such as diabetes and heart disease. Researchers already knew about KLF14, a gene that is linked to cholesterol levels and diabetes type 2 – however, nobody knew what role it played until now.

The scientists explained that while "cis regulatory patterns of gene expression have been extensively explored, the identification of trans regulatory effects in humans has attracted less attention."

This latest study was part of a large multinational collaboration – the MuTHER study – financed by the Wellcome Trust. Scientists from The Wellcome Turst, the University of Oxford, King's College London, as well as the University of Geneva collaborated. DeCode Genetics also contributed.

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