In a paper published online in advance in PNAS this week, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's Robert Frost and Eric Olson show that the Let-7 family of miRNAs "regulates glucose metabolism in multiple organs." In a mouse model, Frost and Olson found evidence to suggest "anti-miR-induced Let-7 knockdown as a potential treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus."
Leicester University's Massimiliano Agostini and his colleagues show that in mice, "overexpression of miR-34a alters hippocampal spinal morphology, and results in electrophysiological changes consistent with a reduction in spinal function." Agostini et al. also present data that "reinforce a role for miR-34a in neuronal development."
Elsewhere in this week's PNAS Early Edition, an international team led by investigators at Qufu Normal University in China report their use of quantitative RT-PCR and RNA-seq, with which they found that GPRF1 through GPRF5 are up-regulated in diploid and allopolyploid cotton, Gossypium. "This parallel up-regulation of an entire gene family in multiple species in response to strong directional selection is without precedent and suggests unwitting selection on one or more upstream transcription factors or other proteins that coordinately exercise control over profilin expression," the authors write.
Finally, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, and Rice University in Houston, Texas, show that "antagonistic gene transcripts regulate adaptation to new growth environments." More specifically, in an S. cerevisiae model, the UCSD-Rice team found that "spatial regulation of GAL1 and CLN3 transcripts is what allows growth to be maintained during fluctuations of glucose availability," the authors write.