Are Micropeptides Involved in the Development of Type 2 Diabetes?
Type 2 Diabetes is a disease characterized by elevated blood sugar levels. Under normal conditions, the beta-cells of the pancreas produce insulin, a peptide hormone that promotes the uptake of glucose throughout the body. Approximately 90% of the entire diabetic population has Type II Diabetes and there is currently no cure. The exact regulatory mechanisms involved in the onset of this disease are still largely unknown. However, recent genomic studies have shown that large sections of the genome that were previously labeled as long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) do in fact code for functional proteins.
A notable amount of research has been done in looking at the role of lncRNA in multiple diseases and organ systems, but this been understudied in pancreatic beta-cells. For the purposes of this study, I am studying the expression and function of micropeptides in rat INS-1 cells (pancreatic tumor). If one or more micropeptides are found to be involved in the mechanisms behind Type 2 Diabetes development, then they may be novel biomarkers that could improve the current methods of diagnosing the disease.