Metabolism

Small RNA regulates glucose homeostasis

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Science  18 Nov 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 844-845
DOI: 10.1126/science.354.6314.844-c

Noncoding RNAs, such as microRNAs, regulate gene expression through RNA silencing and posttranscriptional gene regulation. Lin et al. show that miR-155 is important for glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. When miR-155 is overexpressed in mice, they become hypoglycemic, whereas if miR-155 is deleted, the result is hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. miR-155 does not seem to alter pancreas morphology or β-cell function; instead, it appears to act on negative regulators of insulin signaling, such as C/EPBb, HDAC4, and SOCS1. Patients with type 2 diabetes show reduced miR-155, suggesting that it may also be involved in human insulin signaling. The discovery of this microRNA function opens a window of opportunity for the treatment of diabetes through glycemic control.

PLOS Genet. 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006308 (2016).

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