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Transl Res. 2011 Apr;157(4):253-64. doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2011.01.009. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Diabetes mellitus, a microRNA-related disease?

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Morphology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus is a complex disease resulting in altered glucose homeostasis. In both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, pancreatic β cells cannot secrete appropriate amounts of insulin to regulate blood glucose level. Moreover, in type 2 diabetes mellitus, altered insulin secretion is combined with a resistance of insulin-target tissues, mainly liver, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle. Both environmental and genetic factors are known to contribute to the development of the disease. Growing evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small noncoding RNA molecules, are involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes. miRNAs function as translational repressors and are emerging as important regulators of key biological processes. Here, we review recent studies reporting changes in miRNA expression in tissues isolated from different diabetic animal models. We also describe the role of several miRNAs in pancreatic β cells and insulin-target tissues. Finally, we discuss the possible use of miRNAs as blood biomarkers to prevent diabetes development and as tools for gene-based therapy to treat both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Copyright © 2011 Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21420036
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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