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New protocols improve detection of microRNAs for diagnosis
Date:12/7/2011

Philadelphia, PA, -- MicroRNAs (miRNAs) that regulate processes including fertilization, development, and aging show promise as biomarkers of disease. They can be collected from routinely collected fluids such as blood, saliva, and urine. However, a number of factors can interfere with the accuracy of miRNA tests. In a study published online today in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, a group of researchers provide clear procedures for the collection and analysis of miRNA, significantly improving their diagnostic accuracy.

"Our study demonstrates that inherent differences in biological samples and the methods used to collect and analyze them can dramatically affect the detection and quantitation of microRNAs," reports lead investigator Dominik M. Duelli, PhD, Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. "We developed measures to overcome the interfering activities and improved the sensitivity of miRNA detection up to 30-fold."

Over 1,000 miRNAs exist in the human body. Deregulation of specific miRNAs is associated with disease. Measuring the amount of miRNAs in body fluids can aid in the diagnosis of disease or conditions such as pregnancy. Dr. Duelli and his colleagues quantified two miRNAs: miR-16, which acts as a tumor suppressor and is deregulated or lost in some cancers, including breast cancer; and miR-223, which has been implicated in pregnancy and other conditions, as well as in some malignant diseases.

"A fundamental challenge to making microRNA diagnostics broadly available has been the inability to isolate enough high quality material to analyze. Our paper outlines ways of effectively collecting blood plasma samples, thus bringing us one step closer to the goal of making [miRNA] disease diagnostics a reality," adds co-investigator Sarah Linnstaedt, PhD, of Duke University.

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Contact: David Sampson
jmdmedia@elsevier.com
215-239-3171
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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