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Mol Metab. 2013 Sep 25;2(4):348-55. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2013.09.003.

Regulation of β-cell function by RNA-binding proteins.

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Molecular Diabetology, Paul Langerhans Institute Dresden, TU Dresden ; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD e.V.), Fetscherstrasse 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


β-cells of the pancreatic islets are highly specialized and high-throughput units for the production of insulin, the key hormone for maintenance of glucose homeostasis. Elevation of extracellular glucose and/or GLP-1 levels triggers a rapid upregulation of insulin biosynthesis through the activation of post-transcriptional mechanisms. RNA-binding proteins are emerging as key factors in the regulation of these mechanisms as well as in other aspects of β-cell function and glucose homeostasis at large, and thus may be implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes. Here we review current research in the field, with a major emphasis on RNA-binding proteins that control biosynthesis of insulin and other components of the insulin secretory granules by modulating the stability and translation of their mRNAs.


Diabetes; Insulin; RNA-binding proteins; Translation; mRNA stability; β-cells

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