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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012 Sep 21;426(2):266-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.08.082. Epub 2012 Aug 23.

MicroRNA-29a is up-regulated in beta-cells by glucose and decreases glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.

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Department of Science, Systems and Models, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark.


Chronically elevated levels of glucose impair pancreatic beta-cell function while inducing beta-cell proliferation. MicroRNA-29a (miR-29a) levels are increased in several tissues in diabetic animals and mediate decreased insulin-stimulated glucose-transport of adipocytes. The aim was to investigate the impact of glucose on miR-29a levels in INS-1E beta-cells and in human islets of Langerhans and furthermore to evaluate the impact of miR-29a on beta-cell function and proliferation. Increased glucose levels up-regulated miR-29a in beta-cells and human and rat islets of Langerhans. Glucose-stimulated insulin-secretion (GSIS) of INS-1E beta-cells was decreased by forced expression of miR-29a, while depletion of endogenous miR-29a improved GSIS. Over-expression of miR-29a increased INS-1E proliferation. Thus, miR-29a up-regulation is involved in glucose-induced proliferation of beta-cells. Furthermore, as depletion of miR-29a improves beta-cell function, miR-29a is a mediator of glucose-induced beta-cell dysfunction. Glucose-induced up-regulation of miR-29a in beta-cells could be implicated in progression from impaired glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes.

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