The microRNA-124-iGluR2/3 pathway regulates glucagon release from alpha cells
Glucagon, secreted from islet alpha cells, plays an important role in regulating glucose homeostasis; however, the molecular mechanism underlying this process is not fully understood. Previous studies have demonstrated that miRNAs are involved in the function of alpha cells. Glutamate promotes glucagon secretion by mediating the opening of Ca2+ channels. In this present, iGluR2 and iGluR3 levels were significantly increased in fasting-treated mouse islets. Additional studies showed that miR-124-3p simultaneously regulates the expression of iGluR2 and iGluR3 through the direct targeting of mRNA 3'UTR of these two genes. The miR-124-iGluRs pathway also contributed to the high level of glucagon secretion through long-term high glucose levels. Thus, a novel pathway comprising miRNA, glutamate and iGluRs has been demonstrated to regulate the biological process of glucagon release.