Feeding a lipogenic diet increases transcription and enhances processing of the rat hepatic messenger RNA (mRNA)-S14 gene. To determine the separate roles of insulin and increased glucose in these processes, we used the streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model. Diabetes caused a reduction in mature mRNA-S14 in chow- and lipogenic diet-fed animals (P < 0.006 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Insulin restored these levels to normal. Despite the known effects of insulin and carbohydrate on the transcription of this gene, we were unable to demonstrate significant changes in the nuclear proteins that bind to carbohydrate response regions. Yet, insulin restored the content of the mRNA by increasing the ratio of mature to precursor mRNA-S14. Insulin significantly increased this ratio (P < 0.0001) independent of diet and diabetes, further supporting the action of insulin on increasing processing from precursor to mature mRNA. The mechanism of the enhanced processing was studied by ribonuclease mapping and primer extension analysis. Ribonuclease mapping showed that lipogenic diet feeding increases the efficiency of processing at a step before formation of the branched form of the precursor mRNA. Taken together, our data demonstrate for the first time that insulin significantly enhances the efficiency of processing of a pre-mRNA.