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Diabetologia. 2013 Aug;56(8):1743-51. doi: 10.1007/s00125-013-2939-4. Epub 2013 May 15.

Identification of circulating microRNAs in HNF1A-MODY carriers.

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Department of Physiology and Medical Physics, Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland.



HNF1A-MODY is a monogenic form of diabetes caused by mutations in the HNF1A gene. Here we identify, for the first time, HNF1A-MODY-associated microRNAs (miRNAs) that can be detected in the serum of HNF1A-MODY carriers.


An miRNA array was carried out in rat INS-1 insulinoma cells inducibly expressing the common human Pro291fsinsC-HNF1A frame shift mutation. Differentially expressed miRNAs were validated by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression of miRNAs in the serum of HNF1A-MODY carriers (n = 31), MODY-negative family members (n = 10) and individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus (n = 17) was quantified by absolute real-time PCR analysis.


Inducible expression of Pro291fsinsC-HNF1A in INS-1 cells caused a significant upregulation of three miRNAs (miR-103, miR-224, miR-292-3p). The differential expression of two miRNAs (miR-103 and miR-224) was validated in vitro. Strongly elevated levels of miR-103 and miR-224 could be detected in the serum of HNF1A-MODY carriers compared with MODY-negative family controls. Serum levels of miR-103 distinguished HNF1A-MODY carriers from HbA1c-matched individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus.


Our study demonstrates that the pathophysiology of HNF1A-MODY is associated with the overexpression of miR-103 and miR-224. Furthermore, our study demonstrates that these miRNAs can be readily detected in the serum of HNF1A-MODY carriers.

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