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July 6, 2007

Diabetes Fight May Be Helped By New Molecular Target

Topics: Medicine

life-microrna-art-bg.jpgResearchers say that the fight against diabetes could be helped by targeting a newly discovered molecule, a microRNA known as miR124:

The researchers found that miR124 inhibits the production of insulin in the pancreas. It does this by controlling how several genes are expressed in the body's beta cells, which secrete insulin.

Insulin is the principal hormone that regulates the uptake of glucose and if the body produces insufficient insulin this can cause diabetes.

The researchers believe that if drugs could be developed to suppress the action of miR124, and related microRNAs, in those with diabetes, this could enable more insulin to be produced, helping to combat the condition.

... Synthetic molecules known as antagomirs can inactivate microRNAs and scientists are hopeful that they might one day be able to harness their properties to switch off selected microRNAs, including miR124.

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Cross posted from Diabetologica

Posted by Richard at July 6, 2007 11:03 PM

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