Regulatory variants at KLF14 influence type 2 diabetes risk via a female-specific effect on adipocyte size and body composition

Kerrin S. Small, Marijana Todorčević, Mete Civelek, Julia S. El-Sayed Moustafa, Xiao Wang, Michelle M. Simon, Juan Fernandez-Tajes, Anubha Mahajan, Momoko Horikoshi, Alison Hugill, Craig A. Glastonbury, Lydia Quaye, Matt J. Neville, Siddharth Sethi, Marianne Yon, Calvin Pan, Nam Che, Ana Viñuela, Pei Chien Tsai, Abhishek NagAlfonso Buil, Gudmar Thorleifsson, Avanthi Raghavan, Qiurong Ding, Andrew P. Morris, Jordana T. Bell, Unnur Thorsteinsdottir, Kari Stefansson, Markku Laakso, Ingrid Dahlman, Peter Arner, Anna L. Gloyn, Kiran Musunuru, Aldons J. Lusis, Roger D. Cox, Fredrik Karpe, Mark I. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

108 Scopus citations


Individual risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is modified by perturbations to the mass, distribution and function of adipose tissue. To investigate the mechanisms underlying these associations, we explored the molecular, cellular and whole-body effects of T2D-associated alleles near KLF14. We show that KLF14 diabetes-risk alleles act in adipose tissue to reduce KLF14 expression and modulate, in trans, the expression of 385 genes. We demonstrate, in human cellular studies, that reduced KLF14 expression increases pre-adipocyte proliferation but disrupts lipogenesis, and in mice, that adipose tissue-specific deletion of Klf14 partially recapitulates the human phenotype of insulin resistance, dyslipidemia and T2D. We show that carriers of the KLF14 T2D risk allele shift body fat from gynoid stores to abdominal stores and display a marked increase in adipocyte cell size, and that these effects on fat distribution, and the T2D association, are female specific. The metabolic risk associated with variation at this imprinted locus depends on the sex both of the subject and of the parent from whom the risk allele derives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-580
Number of pages9
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 01 04 2018
Externally publishedYes

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