The role of microRNAs in the development of type 2 diabets


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
The role of microRNAs in the development of type 2 diabets
Nesca V.
Regazzi  R.
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Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Faculté de biologie et de médecineUniversité de LausanneUNIL - BugnonRue du Bugnon 21 - bureau 4111CH-1015 LausanneSUISSE
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Pancreatic ß cells are highly specialized endocrine cells located within the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. Their main role is to produce and secrete insulin, the hormone essential for the regulation of glucose homeostasis and body's metabolism. Diabetes mellitus develops when the amount of insulin released by ß cells is not sufficient to cover the metabolic demand. In type 1 diabetes (5-10% of diagnoses) insulin deficiency is caused by the autoimmune destruction of pancreatic ß cells. Type 2 diabetes (90% of diagnoses) results from a genetic predisposition and from the presence of adverse environmental conditions. The combination of these factors reduces insulin sensitivity of peripheral target tissues, causes impairment in ß-cell function and can lead to partial loss of ß cells. The development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diabetes necessitates the comprehension of the cellular processes involved in dysfunction and loss of ß cells. My thesis was focused on the involvement in the physiopathological processes leading to the development of diabetes of a class of small regulatory RNA molecules, called microRNAs (miRNAs) that post- transcriptionally regulate gene expression.
Global miRNA profiling in pancreatic islets of two animal models of diabetes, the db/db mice and mice that were fed a high fat diet (HFD), characterized by obesity and insulin resistance, led us to identify two groups of miRNAs displaying expression changes under pre-diabetic and diabetic conditions. Among the miRNAs already upregulated in pre-diabetic db/db mice and HFD mice, miR- 132 was found to have beneficial effects on pancreatic ß cell function and survival. Indeed, mimicking the upregulation of miR-132 in primary pancreatic islet cells and ß-cell lines improved glucose- induced insulin secretion and favored survival of the cells upon exposure to pro-apoptotic stimuli such as palmitate and cytokines. MiR-132 was found to exert its action by enhancing the expression of MafA, a transcription factor essential for ß-cell function, survival and identity. On the other hand, up-regulation of miR-199a-5p and miR-199a-3p was detectable only in the islets of diabetic db/db mice and resulted in impaired insulin secretion and sensitization of the cells to apoptosis. MiR-199a- 5p was found to decrease insulin secretion by inducing the expression of granuphilin, a potent inhibitor of ß cell exocytosis. In contrast, miR-199a-3p was demonstrated to directly target and reduce the expression of two key ß-cell genes, mTOR and cMET, resulting in impaired ß-cell adaptation to metabolic demands and loss by apoptosis.
Our findings suggest that miRNAs are important players in the onset of type 2 diabetes. MiRNA expression is adjusted in pancreatic ß cells exposed to a diabetogenic environment. These changes initially concern miRNAs responsible for adaptive processes aimed at compensating the onset of
insulin resistance, but later such changes can be overlapped by modifications in the level of several additional miRNAs that favor ß-cell failure and the onset of type 2 diabetes.
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18/11/2013 13:32
Last modification date
20/08/2019 16:11
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