MicroRNAs and metabolic disorders – where are we heading?
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Submission date: 2016-04-04
Final revision date: 2016-08-10
Acceptance date: 2016-08-29
Online publication date: 2017-01-19
Publication date: 2017-06-08
Arch Med Sci 2017;13(4):885–896
MicroRNAs (miRNAs, miRs) are short, non-coding molecules engaged in normal functioning of eukaryotic cells, as negative regulators of gene expression. Since the first discovery of miRNA in the early 1990s, hundreds of different miRNAs and their targets have been identified. A growing number of studies have aimed to search for microRNAs which have a key role in the regulation of insulin signaling and metabolic homeostasis. Recent evidence indicates that dysregulation of miRNA expression is involved in the development of various diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), obesity and cardiovascular diseases. This review summarizes the biogenesis of miRNAs and their role in pancreatic  cell biology, insulin signaling and metabolism. We also discuss recent findings of miRNAs associated with metabolic disorders and vascular diabetic complications, their diagnosis and therapeutic value. The PubMed database and published reference lists were searched for articles published between 1990 and 2016 using the following keywords: miRNA, miRNA and pancreas; miRNA and insulin; miRNA and type 2 diabetes mellitus, miRNA and obesity, and miRNA and microvascular or macrovascular diabetic complication. This review indicates that miRNA functioning is significantly different in metabolic diseases than in the normal condition.