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tRNA derived fragments are altered in diabetes

journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-16, 13:52 authored by Nicholas Ng, Hesham Gibriel, Luise HalangLuise Halang, Elisabeth JirströmElisabeth Jirström, Julia IoanaJulia Ioana, Marie Burke, Maria M Byrne, Jochen PrehnJochen Prehn

Aims: Maternally inherited Diabetes and Deafness (MIDD) is a rare form of adult-onset diabetes that can be difficult to diagnose due to its variable clinical phenotype. Transfer RNA-derived small fragments are a novel, emerging class of small noncoding RNAs (sncRNAs) that have significant potential as serum biomarkers due to their stress-induced generation, abundance, stability, and ease of detection.

Methods: We investigated the levels of tiRNA 5'ValCAC (alone and in combination with miR-23b-3p) identified from small-RNA sequencing studies in serum samples from healthy controls, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and MIDD subjects.

Results: Serum levels of 5'ValCAC were reduced in MIDD and Type 2 diabetes subjects compared to controls. Type 2 diabetes subjects had higher serum levels of miR-23b-3p compared to all other subjects. Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis showed the potential of 5'ValCAC and miR-23b-3p as MIDD biomarkers, with the combination showing excellent separation from type 2 diabetes subjects.

Conclusions: This is the first report showing altered serum levels of tiRNAs in diabetes subjects. The combined use of 5'ValCAC and miR-23b-3p as serum biomarkers could potentially differentiate between MIDD subjects and Type 2 diabetes subjects.


HRB/MRCG Research Award RP-06/01

Sanofi Endocrinology Bursary

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) under Grant Number 16/RC/3948

European Regional Development Fund

FutureNeuro industry partners



This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ng N, Gibriel HAY, Halang L, Jirström E, Ioana JA, Burke M, Byrne MM, Prehn JHM. tRNA derived fragments are altered in diabetes. Diabet Med. 2023:e15258, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.

Published Citation

Ng N, Gibriel HAY, Halang L, Jirström E, Ioana JA, Burke M, Byrne MM, Prehn JHM. tRNA derived fragments are altered in diabetes. Diabet Med. 2023:e15258.

Publication Date

7 November 2023

PubMed ID



  • Physiology and Medical Physics




  • Accepted Version (Postprint)

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