Biochemistry and Pharmacology - Research Publications

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    Defining the purity of exosomes required for diagnostic profiling of small RNA suitable for biomarker discovery
    Quek, C ; Bellingham, SA ; Jung, C-H ; Scicluna, BJ ; Shambrook, MC ; Sharples, RA ; Cheng, L ; Hill, AF (TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, 2017-01-01)
    Small non-coding RNAs (ncRNA), including microRNAs (miRNA), enclosed in exosomes are being utilised for biomarker discovery in disease. Two common exosome isolation methods involve differential ultracentrifugation or differential ultracentrifugation coupled with Optiprep gradient fractionation. Generally, the incorporation of an Optiprep gradient provides better separation and increased purity of exosomes. The question of whether increased purity of exosomes is required for small ncRNA profiling, particularly in diagnostic and biomarker purposes, has not been addressed and highly debated. Utilizing an established neuronal cell system, we used next-generation sequencing to comprehensively profile ncRNA in cells and exosomes isolated by these 2 isolation methods. By comparing ncRNA content in exosomes from these two methods, we found that exosomes from both isolation methods were enriched with miRNAs and contained a diverse range of rRNA, small nuclear RNA, small nucleolar RNA and piwi-interacting RNA as compared with their cellular counterparts. Additionally, tRNA fragments (30-55 nucleotides in length) were identified in exosomes and may act as potential modulators for repressing protein translation. Overall, the outcome of this study confirms that ultracentrifugation-based method as a feasible approach to identify ncRNA biomarkers in exosomes.
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    The detection of microRNA associated with Alzheimer's disease in biological fluids using next-generation sequencing technologies.
    Cheng, L ; Quek, CYJ ; Sun, X ; Bellingham, SA ; Hill, AF (Frontiers Media SA, 2013)
    Diagnostic tools for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) currently involve subjective neuropsychological testing and specialized brain imaging techniques. While definitive diagnosis requires a pathological brain evaluation at autopsy, neurodegenerative changes are believed to begin years before the clinical presentation of cognitive decline. Therefore, there is an essential need for reliable biomarkers to aid in the early detection of disease in order to implement preventative strategies. microRNAs (miRNA) are small non-coding RNA species that are involved in post-transcriptional gene regulation. Expression levels of miRNAs have potential as diagnostic biomarkers as they are known to circulate and tissue specific profiles can be identified in a number of bodily fluids such as plasma, CSF and urine. Recent developments in deep sequencing technology present a viable approach to develop biomarker discovery pipelines in order to profile miRNA signatures in bodily fluids specific to neurodegenerative diseases. Here we review the potential use of miRNA deep sequencing in biomarker identification from biological fluids and its translation into clinical practice.