Assessing cellular and circulating miRNA recovery: the impact of the RNA isolation method and the quantity of input material.
ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as promising cancer biomarkers. However, exploiting their informative potential requires careful optimization of their detection. Here, we compared the efficiency of commonly used RNA extraction kits in miRNA recovery from cells, plasma and urine/plasma-derived exosomes, using single-gene RT-qPCR and miRNA profiling. We used increasing amounts of starting material to investigate the impact of the input material size on miRNA extraction. We showed that miRNA recovery was largely influenced by the isolation method and by the amount of input material. In particular, the miRCURY™ kit provided highly pure RNA. However, its columns poorly recovered miRNAs from limiting amounts of cells and plasma, and rapidly saturated by large RNA species and plasma components, thus impeding miRNA recovery from high input amounts. Overall, the miRNeasy® kit permitted a better miRNA detection despite a less pure extracted RNA. Nevertheless, some miRNAs were preferentially or exclusively isolated by either of the methods. Trizol® LS resulted in very low purity RNA which affected RT-qPCR efficiency. In general, miRCURY™ biofluids kit efficiently extracted miRNAs from plasma. A careful selection of the RNA isolation method and the consideration of the type and size of input material are highly recommended to avoid biased results.
Project description:BACKGROUND: microRNAs (miRNA) are short, endogenous transcripts that negatively regulate the expression of specific mRNA targets. miRNAs are found both in tissues and body fluids such as plasma. A major perspective for the use of miRNAs in the clinical setting is as diagnostic plasma markers for neoplasia. While miRNAs are abundant in tissues, they are often scarce in plasma. For quantification of miRNA in plasma it is therefore of importance to use a platform with high sensitivity and linear performance in the low concentration range. This motivated us to evaluate the performance of three commonly used commercial miRNA quantification platforms: GeneChip miRNA 2.0 Array, miRCURY Ready-to-Use PCR, Human panel I+II V1.M, and TaqMan Human MicroRNA Array v3.0. RESULTS: Using synthetic miRNA samples and plasma RNA samples spiked with different ratios of 174 synthetic miRNAs we assessed the performance characteristics reproducibility, recovery, specificity, sensitivity and linearity. It was found that while the qRT-PCR based platforms were sufficiently sensitive to reproducibly detect miRNAs at the abundance levels found in human plasma, the array based platform was not. At high miRNA levels both qRT-PCR based platforms performed well in terms of specificity, reproducibility and recovery. At low miRNA levels, as in plasma, the miRCURY platform showed better sensitivity and linearity than the TaqMan platform. CONCLUSION: For profiling clinical samples with low miRNA abundance, such as plasma samples, the miRCURY platform with its better sensitivity and linearity would probably be superior.
Project description:Analysis of four lung cancer cell lines transfected with a vector expressing the transcriptional repressor Snail versus a vector control. Aberrant Snail expression is known to induce an EMT program in lung cancers. Four lung cancer cell lines (H292, H358, H441, H1437) with stable overexpression of the human SNAI1 gene and vector expressing controls were collected at equal confluency with the miRNeasy Mini kit (Qiagen). One microgram of total RNA was labeled using miRCURY LNA™ microRNA Array Power Labeling kit by the UCLA Clinical Microarray Core. The labeled miRNAs were hybridized to Exiqon miRCURY LNA microRNA Array-6th Generation according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This array includes 927/648/351 human/mouse/rat miRNAs as well as 438 miRPlus miRNAs. The miRNA array slides were scanned using Axon GenePix 4000B scanner (Axon Instruments, Foster City, CA) and processed by using the GenePix Pro 6.0 software (Axon Instruments). The raw data were normalized by using a combination of housekeeping miRNA, spike-in miRNA and invariant endogenous miRNAs.
Project description:High-throughput sequencing is increasingly favoured to assay the presence and abundance of microRNAs (miRNAs) in biological samples, even from low RNA amounts, and a number of commercial vendors now offer kits that allow miRNA sequencing from sub-nanogram (ng) inputs. Although biases introduced during library preparation have been documented, the relative performance of current reagent kits has not been investigated in detail. Here, six commercial kits capable of handling <100ng total RNA input were used for library preparation, performed by kit manufactures, on synthetic miRNAs of known quantities and human total RNA samples. We compared the performance of miRNA detection sensitivity, reliability, titration response and the ability to detect differentially expressed miRNAs. In addition, we assessed the use of unique molecular identifiers (UMI) sequence tags in one kit. We observed differences in detection sensitivity and ability to identify differentially expressed miRNAs between the kits, but none were able to detect the full repertoire of synthetic miRNAs. The reliability within the replicates of all kits was good, while larger differences were observed between the kits, although none could accurately quantify the relative levels of the majority of miRNAs. UMI tags, at least within the input ranges tested, offered little advantage to improve data utility. In conclusion, biases in miRNA abundance are heavily influenced by the kit used for library preparation, suggesting that comparisons of datasets prepared by different procedures should be made with caution. This article is intended to assist researchers select the most appropriate kit for their experimental conditions.
Project description:Data are presented on the number and levels of 384 microRNAs (miRNAs) quantified by reverse-transcription real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) in human serum analyzed under different experimental conditions. The technical variables tested were 1) heating of the serum samples at 60 °C for 120 minutes prior to RNA extraction <i>versus</i> no heating; 2) RNA extraction using an Exiqon miRCURY RNA Isolation kit for Biofluids <i>versus</i> a Systems Biosciences SeraMir Exosome RNA Purification kit; 3) miRNA quantitation by RT-qPCR using an Exiqon SYBR Green Human Panel I <i>versus</i> an Applied Biosystems TaqMan Human microRNA Array A.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of approximately 22 nucleotide long, widely expressed RNA molecules that play important regulatory roles in eukaryotes. To investigate miRNA function, it is essential that methods to quantify their expression levels be available.We evaluated a new miRNA profiling platform that utilizes Illumina's existing robust DASL chemistry as the basis for the assay. Using total RNA from five colon cancer patients and four cell lines, we evaluated the reproducibility of miRNA expression levels across replicates and with varying amounts of input RNA. The beta test version was comprised of 735 miRNA targets of Illumina's miRNA profiling application.Reproducibility between sample replicates within a plate was good (Spearman's correlation 0.91 to 0.98) as was the plate-to-plate reproducibility replicates run on different days (Spearman's correlation 0.84 to 0.98). To determine whether quality data could be obtained from a broad range of input RNA, data obtained from amounts ranging from 25 ng to 800 ng were compared to those obtained at 200 ng. No effect across the range of RNA input was observed.These results indicate that very small amounts of starting material are sufficient to allow sensitive miRNA profiling using the Illumina miRNA high-dimensional platform. Nonlinear biases were observed between replicates, indicating the need for abundance-dependent normalization. Overall, the performance characteristics of the Illumina miRNA profiling system were excellent.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small RNAs that bind to mRNA targets and regulate their translation. A functional study of miRNAs and exploration of their utility as disease markers require miRNA extraction from biological samples, which contain large amounts of interfering compounds for downstream RNA identification and quantification. The most common extraction methods employ silica columns or the TRIzol reagent but give out low recovery for small RNAs probably due to their short strand lengths. Herein, we fabricated the titanium dioxide nanofibers using electrospinning to facilitate miRNA extraction and developed the optimal buffer conditions to improve miRNA recovery from biological matrices of cell lysate and serum. We found that our TiO2 fibers could obtain a recovery of 18.0 ± 3.6% for miRNA fibers while carrying out the extraction in the more complex medium of cell lysate, much higher than the 0.02 ± 0.0001% recovery from the commercial kit. The much improved extraction of miRNAs from our fibers could be originated from the strong coordination between TiO2 and RNA's phosphate backbone. In addition, the binding, washing, and elution buffers judiciously developed in the present study can achieve selective extraction of small RNA shorter than 500 nucleotides in length. Our results demonstrate that TiO2 nanofibers can work as a valuable tool for extraction of miRNAs from biological samples with high recovery. Graphical abstract Schematic for extraction of small RNAs using TiO2 nanofibers.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The measurement of circulating miRNAs has proven to be a powerful biomarker tool for several disease processes. Current protocols for the detection of miRNAs usually involve an RNA extraction step, requiring a substantial volume of patient serum or plasma to obtain sufficient input material. OBJECTIVE:Here, we describe a novel methodology that allows detection of a large number of miRNAs from a small volume of serum or plasma without the need for RNA extraction. METHODS:Three ?l of serum or plasma was subjected to three cycles of high and low temperatures (heat/freeze cycles) followed by miRNA arrays. RESULTS:Our results indicate that miRNA detection following this process is highly reproducible when comparing multiple samples from the same subject. Moreover, this protocol increases the reproducibility of miRNA detection in samples that were previously subjected to multiple freeze-thaw cycles. Importantly, the detection of miRNAs from serum vs. plasma following heat/freeze cycling are highly comparable, indicating that this heat/freeze process effectively eliminates differences in detection between serum and plasma samples that have been reported using other sample preparation methodologies. CONCLUSION:We propose that this method is a potent alternative to current RNA extraction protocols, substantially reducing the amount of sample necessary for miRNA detection while simultaneously improving miRNA detection and reproducibility.
Project description:Growing interest in blood-borne microRNAs (miRNAs) as biomarkers has led to the introduction of a number of commercial kits for isolating small RNAs from plasma/serum. We sought to compare the efficacy of six such kits in isolating miRNAs from either whole plasma or a plasma-derived ultracentrifugation (UC) fraction from 2 healthy volunteers with some of the results being validated in 10 additional subjects. To assess the overall yield and concentration of isolated small RNAs, we measured the levels of one spiked-in and four endogenous miRNAs by quantitative reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We also tested the performance of the Agilent Bioanalyzer small RNA assay with these RNA samples. Additionally, we tested the effects of hemolysis on measured miRNA levels in whole plasma and in the UC fraction. Both the efficiency of RNA isolation and the relative levels of specific miRNAs in different samples varied considerably between the tested extraction methods. Of all kits tested, the QIAGEN miRNeasy kits (Mini and Serum/Plasma kits) and the Macherey-Nagel NucleoSpin kit produced the highest RNA yields. The QIAGEN Exo kit produced lesser yields than what could be extracted from the UC fraction using the QIAGEN miRNeasy kits and the Macherey-Nagel NucleoSpin kit. Bioanalyzer results showed an average correlation of R 2?=?0.8 with endogenous miRNA qRT-PCR results, for sample concentrations >40?pg/µl. The levels of the endogenous miRNAs measured in the two volunteer samples were compared with those in a larger group of subjects (n?=?10) and found to be typical. Our comparison favors the use of the QIAGEN Serum/Plasma kit and the Macherey-Nagel NucleoSpin kit for plasma miRNA applications. Furthermore, extraction of miRNAs from the UC fraction results in higher yield than extraction from whole plasma.
Project description:As many as 30% to 40% of locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) patients experience metastatic progression of the disease. Recognizing the potential of the genetic cargo in tumor-derived exosomes, we hypothesized that plasma exosomal microRNA (miRNA) may reflect biological aggressiveness in LARC and provide new markers for rectal cancer aggressiveness and risk stratification. In a prospective LARC cohort (NCT01816607), plasma samples were collected from 29 patients at the time of diagnosis, before neoadjuvant therapy and surgery. Exosomes, precipitated from plasma using a commercial kit, were verified by cryo-electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis, and western blotting. Expression of exosomal miRNAs was profiled using a miRCURY LNA miRNA microarray and validation of six miRNAs associated with pathological and clinical end-points was undertaken in plasma collected at the time of diagnosis from 64 patients in an independent prospective LARC cohort (NCT00278694). In both cohorts, exosomal miR-141-3p and miR-375 were higher in patients with synchronous liver metastasis than in those without (P?=?.010 and P?=?.017 respectively in the investigative cohort, and P?<?.001 for both in the validation cohort). Further, high exosomal miR-141-3p was associated with post-operative metastatic liver progression in the investigative cohort (P?=?.034). Because both miRNAs are associated with tumor angiogenesis and immune modulation, we propose that these miRNAs in circulating exosomes may reflect rectal cancer aggressiveness and accordingly be candidate biomarkers for further investigations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent new and potentially informative diagnostic targets for disease detection and prognosis. However, little work exists documenting the effect of TRIzol, a common viral inactivation and nucleic acid extraction reagent, on miRNA purification. Here, we developed an optimized protocol for miRNA extraction from plasma samples by evaluating five different RNA extraction kits, TRIzol phase separation, purification additives, and initial plasma sample volume. This method was then used for downstream profiling of plasma miRNAs found in archived samples from one nonhuman primate (NHP) experimentally challenged with Ebola virus by the aerosol route. RESULTS:Comparison of real-time RT-PCR results for spiked-in and endogenous miRNA sequences determined extraction efficiencies from five different RNA purification kits. These experiments showed that 50 ?L plasma processed using the QIAGEN miRNeasy Mini Kit with 5 ?g of glycogen as a co-precipitant yielded the highest recovery of endogenous miRNAs. Using this optimized protocol, miRNAs from archived plasma samples of one rhesus macaque challenged with aerosolized Ebola virus was profiled using a targeted real-time PCR array. A total of 519 of the 752 unique miRNAs assayed were present in the plasma samples at day 0 and day 7 (time of death) post-exposure. Statistical analyses revealed 25 sequences significantly up- or down-regulated between day 0 and day 7 post infection, validating the utility of the extraction method for plasma miRNA profiling. CONCLUSIONS:This study contributes to the knowledgebase of circulating miRNA extraction methods and expands on the potential applications of cell-free miRNA profiling for diagnostics and pathogenesis studies. Specifically, we optimized an extraction protocol for miRNAs from TRIzol-inactivated plasma samples that can be used for highly pathogenic viruses.