MicroRNAs as pharmacological targets in diabetes

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Diabetes is characterized by high levels of blood glucose due to either the loss of insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas, leading to a deficiency of insulin in type 1 diabetes, or due to increased insulin resistance, leading to reduced insulin sensitivity and productivity in type 2 diabetes. There is an increasing need for new options to treat diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes at its early stages due to an ineffective control of its development in patients. Recently, a novel class of small noncoding RNAs, termed microRNAs (miRNAs), is found to play a key role as important transcriptional and posttranscriptional inhibitors of gene expression in fine-tuning the target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). miRNAs are implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes and have become an intriguing target for therapeutic intervention. This review focuses on the dysregulated miRNAs discovered in various diabetic models and addresses the potential for miRNAs to be therapeutic targets in the treatment of diabetes.

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Pharmacological Research