microRNAs (miRNA) are single-stranded RNA molecules of about 21-25 nucleotides in length thought to negatively regulate the expression of other genes. miRNAs are encoded by RNA genes that are transcribed from DNA but not translated into protein; instead they are processed from primary transcripts known as pri-miRNA to short stem-loop structures called pre-miRNA and finally to functional miRNA. Mature miRNA molecules are complementary to regions in one or more messenger RNA (mRNA) molecules, which they target for degradation.

    Diabetes is a major health problem all over the world (sixth leading death cause in U.S. alone) and prevails more and more, whose complications can cause a broad range of severe problems.

    In 2004, microRNA miR-375 was first found to regulate the insuline secretion, which opened new doors for understanding how to regulate insuline secretion in the body. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) is also being intensively researched for their correlation with diabetes melittus. So this webpage of "microRNA world for diabetes" intensively surveys two microRNA families; miR-375 and miR-506.


Source:  Nature Reviews Cancer 6, 259-269 (April 2006)