Ad hoc seminar – Romano Regazzi
“Non-coding RNAs as central players in diabetes development”
The discovery that most sequences in mammalian genomes can be transcribed to RNA has revolutionized the understanding of the mechanisms governing many cellular processes and causing human diseases such as diabetes mellitus. Insulin-secreting β-cells, as most other cells in our body, were found to contain thousands of non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs, Piwi-associated RNAs, tRNA-derived fragments, long non-coding RNAs and circular RNAs. While the involvement of microRNAs in β-cell function and in the etiology of diabetes is now well documented, there is emerging evidence indicating that other less well characterized classes of non-coding RNAs are also participating in many aspects of islet physiology. Our group is investigating the role of different classes of non-coding RNAs in the control of pancreatic β-cell functions under normal and pathophysiological conditions. In my presentation I will provide an overview of two ongoing projects in the lab. The first aims at investigating the role of circular RNAs in the control of β-cell activities and in type 2 diabetes development. The second focuses on the involvement of exosomal RNAs in the communication between immune cells and β-cells during Type 1 diabetes development.
University of Lausanne