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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Feb 22;366(4):922-6. Epub 2007 Dec 18.

Quantitative differential expression analysis reveals miR-7 as major islet microRNA.

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  • 1Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, 1450 NW 10th Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, USA.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding gene products that regulate gene expression through specific binding to target mRNAs. Cell-specific patterns of miRNAs are associated with the acquisition and maintenance of a given phenotype, such as endocrine pancreas (islets). We hypothesized that a subset of miRNAs could be differentially expressed in the islets. Using miRNA microarray technology and quantitative RT-PCR we identified a subset of miRNAs that are the most differentially expressed islet miRNAs (ratio islet/acinar>150-fold), miR-7 being the most abundant. A similarly high ratio for miR-7 was observed in human islets. The ratio islet/acinar for miR-375, a previously described islet miRNA, was <10 and is 2.5x more abundant in the islets than miR-7. Therefore, we conclude that miR-7 is the most abundant endocrine miRNA in islets while miR-375 is the most abundant intra-islet miRNA. Our results may offer new insights into regulatory pathways of islet gene expression.

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