Nucleic acid biomarkers of β cell stress and death in type 1 diabetes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to summarize recent advances in the development of nucleic acid-based biomarkers of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Recent findings Recent rodent and human studies have identified new roles for stress pathways intrinsic to the β cell during the development of T1D. As such, methods to identify an authentic nucleic acid signature of β cell stress and/or death may improve our ability to predict T1D at earlier timepoints, allowing for optimal timing of immunomodulatory interventions. To this end, both targeted and unbiased approaches have begun to identify changes in microRNA expression patterns in T1D. Moreover, a number of groups have developed distinct assays that quantitatively detect circulating unmethylated insulin DNA, which is thought to primarily emanate from dying β cells. Summary Here we highlight unique blood and urine microRNA signatures identified in T1D cohorts, compare differences between first, second, and third-generation assays that detect circulating unmethylated insulin DNA, and review recent technological advances that have the capacity to improve T1D biomarker development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-317
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • biomarkers
  • cell-free insulin DNA
  • miRNA
  • type 1 diabetes
  • unmethylated insulin DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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