LncRNAs: key players and novel insights into diabetes mellitus.

PMID 29050364


Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) are a class of endogenous RNA molecules, which have a transcribing length of over 200 nt, lack a complete functional open reading frame (ORF), and rarely encode a functional short peptide. Recent studies have revealed that disruption of LncRNAs levels correlates with several human diseases, including diabetes mellitus (DM), a complex multifactorial metabolic disorder affecting more than 400 million people worldwide. LncRNAs are emerging as pivotal regulators in various biological processes, in the progression of DM and its associated complications, involving pancreatic β-cell disorder, insulin resistance, and epigenetic regulation, etc. Further investigation into the mechanisms of action of LncRNAs in DM will be of great value in the thorough understanding of pathogenesis. However, prior to successful application of LncRNAs, further search for molecular biomarkers and drug targets to provide a new strategy for DM prevention, early diagnosis, and therapy is warranted.