A Novel Function of MicroRNA 130a-3p in Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity and Liver Steatosis

  1. Feifan Guo1
  1. 1Key Laboratory of Nutrition and Metabolism, Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
  2. 2Key Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Ministry of Education, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  3. 3Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  4. 4Institute and Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Shanghai Ninth People’s Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
  5. 5Bio-X Institutes, Key Laboratory for the Genetics of Developmental and Neuropsychiatric Disorders, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
  1. Corresponding author: Feifan Guo, ffguo{at}
  1. F.X. and J.Y. contributed equally to this study.


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, noncoding, short, single-stranded RNAs that are evolutionarily conserved and believed to play a role in controlling a variety of biological processes. The roles of miRNAs in insulin resistance and liver steatosis, however, are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the roles of miR-130a in the regulation of insulin sensitivity and liver steatosis. In our current study, we observed that overexpression of miR-130a-3p increases insulin signaling in both HepG2 cells and primary mouse hepatocytes, and silencing of miR-130a-3p has the opposite effects. However, miR-130a-5p has no effect in the regulation of insulin signaling. Consistently, whole-body and hepatic insulin sensitivity are improved in mice injected with adenoviruses that overexpress miR-130a-3p. Furthermore, we provided evidence showing that growth factor receptor–bound protein 10 is required for miR-130a-3p–regulated insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, we observed that expression of miR-130a-3p is decreased in the livers of db/db mice and that adenovirus-mediated overexpression of miR-130a-3p reverses insulin resistance and liver steatosis, the latter of which is achieved via suppressing fatty acid synthase expression in these mice. This study identifies a novel function for hepatic miR-130a-3p in the regulation of insulin sensitivity and liver steatosis.


  • Received November 2, 2013.
  • Accepted March 22, 2014.
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  1. Diabetes vol. 63 no. 8 2631-2642
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