HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 25, No. 07, July 2021 – Ageing Better – Breakthroughs and Innovations for a Greying World       » A Plant-Based Remedy for Big, Broken Hearts       » Fuelling the Future with Multi-Element Alloys and Green Hydrogen       » RADICA: A Radical, Rapid Method for Accurate Detection of Viruses       » Untangling the Twists of Alzheimer’s Plaques       » Turning Aquaculture Trash to Treasure for Tissue Repair      
NEWS CRUNCH
Genetic variant shown to influence women's body shape and diabetes risk

Findings reported at ASHG 2015 Annual Meeting

American Society of Human Genetics

BETHESDA, MD – A genetic variant near the KLF14 gene regulates hundreds of genes that govern how and where women's bodies store fat, which affects their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, according to research presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2015 Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Specifically, different alleles, or versions, of the variant cause fat-storing cells to function differently. "At the whole-body level, these differences between alleles are not associated with changes to overall weight or body mass index, but they do affect women's hip circumference," explained Kerrin Small, PhD, Head of the Genomics of Regulatory Variation Research Group at King's College London and lead author on the study.

"Previous studies have shown that on average, women who carry fat in their hips - those with a 'pear-shaped' body type - are significantly less likely to develop diabetes than those with smaller hips. Looking at the variant we studied, large-scale genome-wide association studies show that women with one allele tend to have larger hips than women with the other one, which would have a protective effect against diabetes," she said.

The variant is located near the KLF14 gene, which encodes a protein that Dr. Small and her colleagues discovered directly regulates the expression of hundreds of other genes in fat tissue. KLF14 is maternally imprinted, which means that a person's expression of KLF14 and the resulting effects on fat tissue are determined by the version of the gene inherited from his or her mother; the father's allele does not affect levels of this regulatory protein.

Researchers first identified the relationship between the variant near KLF14 and Type 2 diabetes risk in a large, genome-wide association study of a broad population. As with most studies of this type, the effect on diabetes risk was modest, though statistically significant. However, when Dr. Small and her colleagues focused on a more specific population, women who inherited the allele from their mothers, the effect size grew.

"These findings have important implications as we move toward more personalized approaches to disease detection and treatment," Dr. Small said. "If we can identify the genes and protein products involved in diabetes risk, even for a subset of people, we may be able to develop effective treatment and prevention approaches tailored to people in that group."

The researchers are currently exploring why the variant only seems to affect women. They have found that women have higher baseline levels of the KLF14 mRNA transcript, a precursor to the KLF14 protein, than men. This suggests the possibility of a threshold effect, in which men rarely or never attain the levels necessary to cause an increased risk of diabetes. Another hypothesis is that a different, sex-specific protein may interact with the KLF14 protein, enhancing or diminishing its effect in men or women.

To test these ideas, Dr. Small and her colleagues are investigating the specific mechanisms by which the variant near KLF14 affects KLF14 expression, as well as how the many genes regulated by KLF14 affect fat storage patterns and diabetes risk.

"Eventually, we hope to develop a comprehensive, predictive model of how genes affect risk of Type 2 diabetes in women," she said.

Source: EurekAlert
NEWS CRUNCH  
news Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress 2021 is Set to Brave the New Frontiers as We Revolutionise and Transform Healthcare
news Anti-Pandemic Forum to be Hosted by Top-Notch American and Chinese Scientists
news Commemorating World Health Day with Viatris
news Entire industrial chain resources of advanced medical equipment are lining up at Medtec China 2021
SPOTLIGHT  

MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Contribute to APBN
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Carmen Chan
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2021 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy