Down-regulation of Risa improves insulin sensitivity by enhancing autophagy

FASEB J. 2016 Sep;30(9):3133-45. doi: 10.1096/fj.201500058R. Epub 2016 Jun 1.


It has been reported that some small noncoding RNAs are involved in the regulation of insulin sensitivity. However, whether long noncoding RNAs also participate in the regulation of insulin sensitivity is still largely unknown. We identified and characterized a long noncoding RNA, regulator of insulin sensitivity and autophagy (Risa), which is a poly(A)(+) cytoplasmic RNA. Overexpression of Risa in mouse primary hepatocytes or C2C12 myotubes attenuated insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of insulin receptor, Akt, and Gsk3β, and knockdown of Risa alleviated insulin resistance. Further studies showed that overexpression of Risa in hepatocytes or myotubes decreased autophagy, and knockdown of Risa up-regulated autophagy. Moreover, knockdown of Atg7 or -5 significantly inhibited the effect of knockdown of Risa on insulin resistance, suggesting that knockdown of Risa alleviated insulin resistance via enhancing autophagy. In addition, tail vein injection of adenovirus to knock down Risa enhanced insulin sensitivity and hepatic autophagy in both C57BL/6 and ob/ob mice. Taken together, the data demonstrate that Risa regulates insulin sensitivity by affecting autophagy and suggest that Risa is a potential target for treating insulin-resistance-related diseases.-Wang, Y., Hu, Y., Sun, C., Zhuo, S., He, Z., Wang, H., Yan, M., Liu, J., Luan, Y., Dai, C., Yang, Y., Huang, R., Zhou, B., Zhang, F., Zhai, Q. Down-regulation of Risa improves insulin sensitivity by enhancing autophagy.

Keywords: glucose homeostasis; insulin resistance; lncRNA; ob/ob mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy / physiology*
  • Down-Regulation / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / genetics
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*


  • RNA, Long Noncoding