Research Article

MicroRNA-7 Regulates Insulin Signaling Pathway by Targeting IRS1, IRS2, and RAF1 Genes in Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Author(s): Ravi Bhushan, Anjali Rani, Deepali Gupta, Akhtar Ali and Pawan K. Dubey*

Volume 11, Issue 1, 2022

Published on: 27 May, 2022

Page: [57 - 72] Pages: 16

DOI: 10.2174/2211536611666220413100636

Price: $65


Background: Small non-coding micro RNAs (miRNAs) are indicated in various metabolic processes and play a critical role in disease pathology, including gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the altered expression of miRNAs and their target genes in placental tissue (PL), cord blood (CB), and maternal blood (MB) of matched non-glucose tolerant (NGT) and GDM mother.

Methods: In a case-control study, micro-RNA was quantified from forty-five serum (MB n = 15, CB n = 15, and PL n = 15) and matched placental tissue using stem-loop RT-qPCR followed by target prediction, network construction and functional and pathways enrichment analysis. Further, target genes were verified in-vitro through transfection and RT-qPCR.

Results: Five miRNAs, namely hsa-let 7a-5P, hsa-miR7-5P, hsa-miR9-5P, hsa-miR18a-5P, and hsamiR23a- 3P were significantly over-expressed (p < 0.05) in all three samples namely PL, CB, and MB of GDM patients. However, the sample-wise comparison reveals higher expression of miRNA 7 in MB while lowest in CB than control. Furthermore, a comparison of fold change expression of target genes discloses a lower expression of IRS1, IRS2, and RAF1 in MB while comparatively higher expression of NRAS in MB and CB. In-vitro validation reveals lower expression of IRS1/2 and RAF1 in response to overexpression of miR-7 and vice-versa. Thus it is evident that increased miRNA7 expression causes down-regulation of its target genes IRS1, IRS2, and RAF1 in GDM mother compared to control. Further, target prediction, pathway enrichment, and hormone analysis (significantly higher FSH & LH in MB of GDM compared to NGT) revealed insulin signaling, inflammatory and GnRH signaling as major pathways regulated by miRNA7.

Conclusion: Thus, an elevated level of miRNA7 may be associated with the progression of GDM by altering the multiple pathways like insulin, GnRH, and inflammatory signaling pathways via targeting IRS1, IRS2, and RAF1, implicating a new therapeutic target for GDM.

Keywords: MicroRNAs, plasma, tissue, real-time PCR, gestational diabetes mellitus, insulin, signaling pathway.

Graphical Abstract
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