The mechanisms of lncRNA Tug1 in islet dysfunction in a mouse model of intrauterine growth retardation

Cell Biochem Funct. 2020 Dec;38(8):1129-1138. doi: 10.1002/cbf.3575. Epub 2020 Aug 31.


Taurine upregulated gene 1 (Tug1) is a novel lncRNA that participates in growth, and the abnormal expression of Tug1 related to mouse islet cell dysfunction. A recent study revealed that intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) related to the pathogenesis of diabetes. Here, we aimed to explore the role and mechanism of Tug1 in IUGR-mediated islet dysfunction. We observed that newborn IUGR mice had lower body and pancreas weight and smaller islets than newborn control mice. After IUGR mice were given a normal diet, they showed catch-up growth and abnormal glucose tolerance; however, the pancreas/body weight ratio remained low. Blood glucose, serum insulin and related gene expression showed mild recovery after overexpression of Tug1 in IUGR mice. Furthermore, Tug1 was enriched in the nuclei of MIN6 cells. Using RIP and CHIP analyses we found that Tug1 could regulate Hes1 expression by binding to EZH2 to affect insulin synthesis in MIN6 cells. These findings indicate that lncRNA Tug1 could regulate the expression of Hes1 via EZH2-driven H3K27 methylation and affect insulin production. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY: This study suggests Tug1 as a novel biomarker, as it was shown to regulate β cell function and is worthy of further investigation due to its potential for diabetes treatment.

Keywords: EZH2; Hes1; IUGR; T2DM; Tug1; islet function; lncRNA.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation* / metabolism
  • Fetal Growth Retardation* / pathology
  • Islets of Langerhans* / embryology
  • Islets of Langerhans* / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • RNA, Long Noncoding / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • RNA, Long Noncoding
  • long non-coding RNA TUG1, mouse