Subramaniam Tavintharan, Lim Su Chi, Sum Chee Fang, Armugam Arunmozhiarasi and Kandiah Jeyaseelan Pages 281 - 286 ( 6 )
Type 2 Diabetes occurs as a result of defects in insulin secretion and its function. Although mechanisms of disease are not fully elucidated, it is recognized that a progressive decline in insulin secretory capacity is responsible for its occurrence and natural course. Metabolic syndrome, known to be a precursor of Type 2 diabetes, is characterized by a constellation of vascular risk factors, with obesity playing a central role. Obesity contributes to impaired insulin function and abnormal glucose metabolism. MicroRNAs (miRNA) are highly conserved, small, RNA molecules encoded in the genomes of plants and animals and they regulate the expression of many other genes either by RNA interference (RNAi) or RNA activation (RNAa). miRNAs have been found to regulate multiple genes and seem to be crucial factors in many cellular pathways, including development, cell differentiation, proliferation and apoptosis. Pancreatic islet cell specific miRNAs which regulate insulin secretion, and adipocyte specific miRNAs which regulate adipocyte differentiation, are examples of miRNAs that are predicted to have crucial roles in governing glucose homeostasis. Further understanding of the roles of miRNAs in glucose metabolism may unravel better understanding of pancreatic cell biology and diabetes pathophysiology, allowing for newer therapeutic targets and strategies. In this review, we will be discussing about the role/function of miRNAs in insulin secretion and regulation, lipid metabolism and conditions like hypertension and cardiovascular diseases and the potential use of miRNA in therapy.
microRNA, diabetes mellitus, insulin, lipid metabolism, hypertension, gene expression, metabolic disease, cardiac hypertrophy
Department of Biochemistry, YLL School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117597.