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Role of miRNAs in the host-gut microbiome communication during metformin treatment in the context of metabolic disorders



Project Title: „Role of miRNAs in the host-gut microbiome communication during metformin treatment in the context of metabolic disorders”

Funding: European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Measure “Support for applied research” 

Project No.:

Period: 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2022

Project costs: 648 648 EUR

Principle Investigator: Dr. biol. Jānis Kloviņš

Cooperation partner: SIA “GenEra” 


Project summary:

Changes in core gut microbiome are associated with a wide variety of diseases, however, the mechanisms of interaction in the ability of the host to regulate these deviations are still unclear and under-investigated. Recently host miRNAs were shown to be involved in the communication between the host and its gut microbiome. There are still many caveats in the understanding of the possible mechanisms and the actual impact of observed association and further research is needed. Equally important is to understand the communication in relation to gut microbiome-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D) not only to understand the mechanisms of these phenomena in disease, but also to open opportunity for creation of completely novel therapeutic strategies.

The overall aim of the project is to investigate the contribution of the host miRNAs in metformin-mediated changes in gut microbiome composition and functions in the context of type 2 diabetes and to identify miRNAs which could be directed to potential clinical studies.

We will use notable sample resources collected in the framework of a previously performed mice experiment. In addition we will use samples from patients with different metabolic backgrounds obtained during colonoscopy procedure.

We will obtain gut metagenome and miRNA composition data by NGS and estimate the correlation between miRNA and gut microbiome profiles in high-fat diet-fed mice model and patients.

This project will result in a novel understanding of host miRNA-microbiome interaction in T2D and deliver new knowledge for development of personalized approaches in T2D treatment or improvement of the existing strategies.

Information published 01.04.2019.


Progress of the project:

1 April 2019 – 30 June 2019

In this period of the project processing of the gut microbiome samples obtained during an animal experiment has been started. We have selected microbiome samples representing gut lumen and mucosa from our sample collection. We have performed the isolation of bacterial DNA from various segments of gut and have started to prepare them for massive parallel sequencing. In addition, we have summarized the inclusion criteria for human volunteers. Methodology and protocols necessary for the analysis of human microbiome samples have been developed.

Information published 28.06.2019.


Progress of the project:

1 July 2019 – 30 September 2019

In this period quality control of microbial DNA samples and their preparation for massive parallel sequencing has continued. We have started to sequence bacterial DNA samples obtained from different intestinal segments by 16S rRNA gene sequencing method. Initial analysis of the obtained data is ongoing. We have started the selection of samples for RNA isolation and we are developing methodology and protocols necessary for further analysis of these samples. In addition, we have developed methodology and protocols necessary for the analysis of human microbiome samples.

Information published 30.09.2019.

Mājas lapas izstrādi finansēja ERAF aktivitātes projekts Nr. 2010/0196/2DP/ "Latvijas biomedicīnas pētījumu integrācija Eiropas zinātnes telpā".