tRNA modifications and islet function

Fan Yan Wei, Kazuhito Tomizawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Citations (Scopus)


Efficient and accurate protein translation is essential to producing insulin in pancreatic β-cells. Transfer RNA (tRNA) is known as the key component of the protein translational machinery. Interestingly, tRNA contains a wide variety of chemical modifications, which are posttranscriptionally catalysed by tRNA modifying enzymes. Recent advances in genome-sequencing technology have unveiled a number of genetic variations that are associated with the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Some of these mutations are located in the genes of tRNA modifying enzymes. Using cellular and animal models, it has been showed that dysregulation of tRNA modification impairs protein translation in pancreatic β-cells and leads to aberrant insulin production. In this review, we discuss the recent findings in the molecular functions of tRNA modifications and their involvement in the development of T2D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-27
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • insulin synthesis
  • modification
  • translation
  • tRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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