MicroRNA-24/MODY Gene Regulatory Pathway Mediates Pancreatic β-Cell Dysfunction

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Abstract

Overnutrition and genetics both contribute separately to pancreatic β-cell dysfunction, but how these factors interact is unclear. This study was aimed at determining whether microRNAs (miRNAs) provide a link between these factors. In this study, miRNA-24 (miR-24) was highly expressed in pancreatic β-cells and further upregulated in islets from genetic fatty (db/db) or mice fed a high-fat diet, and islets subject to oxidative stress. Overexpression of miR-24 inhibited insulin secretion and β-cell proliferation, potentially involving 351 downregulated genes. By using bioinformatic analysis combined with luciferase-based promoter activity assays and quantitative real-time PCR assays, we identified two maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) genes as direct targets of miR-24. Silencing either of these MODY genes (Hnf1a and Neurod1) mimicked the cellular phenotype caused by miR-24 overexpression, whereas restoring their expression rescued β-cell function. Our findings functionally link the miR-24/MODY gene regulatory pathway to the onset of type 2 diabetes and create a novel network between nutrient overload and genetic diabetes via miR-24.

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