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      The Role of MicroRNAs in Influencing Body Growth and Development

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          Body growth and development are regulated among others by genetic and epigenetic factors. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are epigenetic regulators of gene expression that act at the post-transcriptional level, thereby exerting a strong influence on regulatory gene networks. Increasing studies suggest the importance of miRNAs in the regulation of the growth plate and growth hormone (GH)-insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis during the life course in a broad spectrum of animal species, contributing to longitudinal growth. This review summarizes the role of miRNAs in regulating growth in different in vitro and in vivo models acting on GH, GH receptor (GHR), IGFs, and IGF1R genes besides current knowledge in humans, and highlights that this regulatory system is of importance for growth.

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          Most cited references 50

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          Molecular signals of epigenetic states.

          Epigenetic signals are responsible for the establishment, maintenance, and reversal of metastable transcriptional states that are fundamental for the cell's ability to "remember" past events, such as changes in the external environment or developmental cues. Complex epigenetic states are orchestrated by several converging and reinforcing signals, including transcription factors, noncoding RNAs, DNA methylation, and histone modifications. Although all of these pathways modulate transcription from chromatin in vivo, the mechanisms by which epigenetic information is transmitted through cell division remain unclear. Because epigenetic states are metastable and change in response to the appropriate signals, a deeper understanding of their molecular framework will allow us to tackle the dysregulation of epigenetics in disease.
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            Control of glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity by the Let-7 family of microRNAs.

             Eric Olson,  J. Frost (2011)
            Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disorder worldwide and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. MicroRNAs are negative regulators of gene expression that have been implicated in many biological processes, including metabolism. Here we show that the Let-7 family of microRNAs regulates glucose metabolism in multiple organs. Global and pancreas-specific overexpression of Let-7 in mice resulted in impaired glucose tolerance and reduced glucose-induced pancreatic insulin secretion. Mice overexpressing Let-7 also had decreased fat mass and body weight, as well as reduced body size. Global knockdown of the Let-7 family with an antimiR was sufficient to prevent and treat impaired glucose tolerance in mice with diet-induced obesity, at least in part by improving insulin sensitivity in liver and muscle. AntimiR treatment of mice on a high-fat diet also resulted in increased lean and muscle mass, but not increased fat mass, and prevented ectopic fat deposition in the liver. These findings demonstrate that Let-7 regulates multiple aspects of glucose metabolism and suggest antimiR-induced Let-7 knockdown as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, our Cre-inducible Let-7-transgenic mice provide a unique model for studying tissue-specific aspects of body growth and type 2 diabetes.
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              MicroRNAs: a new class of regulatory genes affecting metabolism.

              MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression by binding to target mRNAs, which leads to reduced protein synthesis and sometimes decreased steady-state mRNA levels. Although hundreds of miRNAs have been identified, much less is known about their biological function. Several studies have provided evidence that miRNAs affect pathways that are fundamental for metabolic control in higher organisms such as adipocyte and skeletal muscle differentiation. Furthermore, some miRNAs have been implicated in lipid, amino acid, and glucose homeostasis. These studies open the possibility that miRNAs may contribute to common metabolic diseases and point to novel therapeutic opportunities based on targeting of miRNAs.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                July 2020
                08 January 2020
                : 93
                : 1
                : 7-15
                Department of Mother and Child, Azienda USL – IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Reggio Emilia, Italy
                Author notes
                *Maria Elisabeth Street, Department of Mother and Child, Azienda USL – IRCCS di Reggio Emilia, Viale Risorgimento 80, IT–42123 Reggio Emilia (Italy), E-Mail mariaelisabeth.street@ausl.re.it
                504669 Horm Res Paediatr 2020;93:7–15
                © 2020 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 2, Tables: 1, Pages: 9
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