A gene linked to diabetes and cholesterol is being called a "master regulator" gene that controls the behavior of other genes found within fat in the body. Kerrin S Small, from King’s College (United Kingdom), and colleagues examined over 20,000 genes in subcutaneous fat biopsies from 776 female twin subjects residing in the United Kingdom, and found an association between the KLF14 locus, a gene is linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels, and the expression levels of multiple distant genes found in fat tissue. This finding was confirmed in a further independent sample of 600 subcutaneous fat biopsies from Icelandic subjects. As well, the team found that genes regulated by KLF14 are highly correlated with certain metabolic traits, with a subset of the trans--regulated genes harboring variants directly associated with metabolic phenotypes
Kerrin S Small, Asa K Hedman,Elin Grundberg, Alexandra C Nica, Gudmar Thorleifsson, Augustine Kong, et al., the GIANT Consortium, the MAGIC Investigators & the DIAGRAM Consortium for the MuTHER Consortium. “Identification of an imprinted master trans regulator at the KLF14 locus related to multiple metabolic phenotypes.” Nature Genetics, 15 May 2011.