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Role and therapeutic potential of microRNAs in diabetes.
Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism
The discovery in mammalian cells of hundreds of small RNA molecules, called microRNAs, with the potential to modulate the expression of the majority of the protein-coding genes has revolutionized many areas of biomedical research, including the diabetes field. MicroRNAs function as translational repressors and are emerging as key regulators of most, if not all, physiological processes. Moreover, alterations in the level or function of microRNAs are associated with an increasing number of diseases. Here, we describe the mechanisms governing the biogenesis and activities of microRNAs. We present evidence for the involvement of microRNAs in diabetes mellitus, by outlining the contribution of these small RNA molecules in the control of pancreatic beta-cell functions and by reviewing recent studies reporting changes in microRNA expression in tissues isolated from diabetes animal models. MicroRNAs hold great potential as therapeutic targets. We describe the strategies developed for the delivery of molecules mimicking or blocking the function of these tiny regulators of gene expression in living animals. In addition, because changes in serum microRNA profiles have been shown to occur in association with different human diseases, we also discuss the potential use of microRNAs as blood biomarkers for prevention and management of diabetes.
Diabetes, Gene expression, Insulin, Pancreatic islet, Rma, Pancreatic beta-cells, Messenger-rnas, Systematic identification, Adipocyte differentiation, Insulin-secretion, Human cancer, C. Elegans, In-vivo, Expression, Targets
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