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Elsharawy A.,University of Kiel | Keller A.,Biomarker Discovery Center | Keller A.,Saarland University | Flachsbart F.,University of Kiel | And 11 more authors.
Aging Cell | Year: 2012

Little is known about the functions of miRNAs in human longevity. Here, we present the first genome-wide miRNA study in long-lived individuals (LLI) who are considered a model for healthy aging. Using a microarray with 863 miRNAs, we compared the expression profiles obtained from blood samples of 15 centenarians and nonagenarians (mean age 96.4years) with those of 55 younger individuals (mean age 45.9years). Eighty miRNAs showed aging-associated expression changes, with 16 miRNAs being up-regulated and 64 down-regulated in the LLI relative to the younger probands. Seven of the eight selected aging-related biomarkers were technically validated using quantitative RT-PCR, confirming the microarray data. Three of the eight miRNAs were further investigated in independent samples of 15 LLI and 17 younger participants (mean age 101.5 and 36.9years, respectively). Our screening confirmed previously published miRNAs of human aging, thus reflecting the utility of the applied approach. The hierarchical clustering analysis of the miRNA microarray expression data revealed a distinct separation between the LLI and the younger controls (P-value <10 -5). The down-regulated miRNAs appeared as a cluster and were more often reported in the context of diseases than the up-regulated miRNAs. Moreover, many of the differentially regulated miRNAs are known to exhibit contrasting expression patterns in major age-related diseases. Further in silico analyses showed enrichment of potential targets of the down-regulated miRNAs in p53 and other cancer pathways. Altogether, synchronized miRNA-p53 activities could be involved in the prevention of tumorigenesis and the maintenance of genomic integrity during aging. © 2012 The Authors. Aging Cell © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Beier M.,Febit Biomedical gmbh | Boisguerin V.,Febit Biomedical gmbh
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of biomarkers. They represent a group of small, noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranslational level by degrading or blocking translation of messenger RNA (mRNA) targets. miRNAs are important players when it comes to regulating cellular functions and in several diseases, including cancer (Cancer Res 66:7390-7394, 2006; Nature 435:834-838, 2005). So far, miRNAs have been extensively studied in tissue material. Only recently, it was found that miRNAs also exist in a broad range of body fluids (Clin Chem 56:1733-1741, 2010). A major challenge still is the efficient and specific detection of miRNAs. The short length of miRNAs, with only 17-27 base pairs, comes with technical difficulties for analysis. Furthermore, individual miRNAs, especially members of a miRNA family (e.g., the let-7 family), show high sequence homology, with sequences differing by as little as a single base pair. Although miRNAs are abundant in higher copy numbers compared to mRNAs, miRNAs lack a common feature like a poly-A tail that eases detection in a complex background of other RNA species. Besides qPCR, in situ hybridization, and next-generation sequencing, microarrays are versatile tools for high-throughput analysis of already known miRNAs (PLoS One 12:e9685, 2010; Nat Genet 38:S2-S7, 2006; Nature Methods 50:298-301, 2010). Different assay formats have been proposed for expression analysis of miRNAs on microarrays, of which most employed prelabeled RNA molecules. As a modification, the so-called RAKE assay was developed that combined the use of unlabeled RNA with on-chip enzymatic labeling by exonuclease cleavage and polymerase primer extension (RNA 12:187-191, 2006; Nature Methods 1:155-161, 2004; Genome Res 16:1289-1298, 2006). Here, we describe a simple method for detection of miRNAs based on a combination of stringent hybridization and enzymatic primer extension on a microfluidic microarray starting from total RNA material, without the need for enrichment, amplification, or labeling of the native RNA samples (N Biotechnol 25:142-149, 2008). This assay can be used with starting material as low as 30 ng of total RNA. We have used this technique extensively for identifying specific sets of miRNAs (miRNA signatures) for diagnosis of cancer and cardiovascular or inflammatory diseases from blood samples of patients (Br J Cancer 103:693-700, 2010; BMC Cancer 9:353, 2009; PLoS One 4:e7440, 2009; BMC Cancer 10:262, 2010; Basic Res Cardiol 106(1):13-23, 2011). © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Meder B.,University of Heidelberg | Haas J.,University of Heidelberg | Keller A.,Biomarker Discovery Center | Heid C.,University of Heidelberg | And 13 more authors.
Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics | Year: 2011

Background: Today, mutations in more than 30 different genes have been found to cause inherited cardiomyopathies, some associated with very poor prognosis. However, because of the genetic heterogeneity and limitations in throughput and scalability of current diagnostic tools up until now, it is hardly possible to genetically characterize patients with cardiomyopathy in a fast, comprehensive, and cost-efficient manner. Methods and Results: We established an array-based subgenomic enrichment followed by next-generation sequencing to detect mutations in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). With this approach, we show that the genomic region of interest can be enriched by a mean factor of 2169 compared with the coverage of the whole genome, resulting in high sequence coverage of selected disease genes and allowing us to define the genetic pathogenesis of cardiomyopathies in a single sequencing run. In 6 patients, we detected disease-causing mutations, 2 microdeletions, and 4 point mutations. Furthermore, we identified several novel nonsynonymous variants, which are predicted to be harmful, and hence, might be potential disease mutations or modifiers for DCM or HCM. Conclusions: The approach presented here allows for the first time a comprehensive genetic screening in patients with hereditary DCM or HCM in a fast and cost-efficient manner. © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.


Keller A.,Biomarker Discovery Center | Keller A.,Febit Biomedical GmbH | Leidinger P.,Saarland University | Gislefoss R.,Cancer Registry of Norway | And 5 more authors.
RNA Biology | Year: 2011

Circulating microRNAs in human serum have increasingly been recognized as stable markers for cancer detection. However, there is still a lack of miRNome wide studies over a long period of time with respect to pathogenic processes. We obtained serum samples from the janus serum bank collected prior and after diagnosis of lung cancer. We analyzed the abundance of 904 miRNAs in serum from eight cancer patients at three time points and from six healthy control individuals. Based on the identified miRNA signatures, hierarchical clustering and a self-organizing map identified three major clusters including one cluster containing most of the of the pre-diagnostic samples, a second cluster with mainly post-diagnostic samples, and a third cluster with mainly control samples. Correlation analyses showed that although the profiles were generally stable over several years, most obvious changes of the miRNA pattern seem to occur at a time close to diagnosis. Our findings support the idea that a developing lung cancer might be detectable years prior to diagnosis through a specific miRNA signature and that this signature changes during tumor development. © 2011 Landes Bioscience.


Summerer D.,Febit Biomedical gmbh | Schracke N.,Febit Biomedical gmbh | Wu H.,Febit Inc. | Cheng Y.,Febit Biomedical gmbh | And 4 more authors.
Genomics | Year: 2010

Sequence capture methods for targeted next generation sequencing promise to massively reduce cost of genomics projects compared to untargeted sequencing. However, evaluated capture methods specifically dedicated to biologically relevant genomic regions are rare. Whole exome capture has been shown to be a powerful tool to discover the genetic origin of disease and provides a reduction in target size and thus calculative sequencing capacity of > 90-fold compared to untargeted whole genome sequencing. For further cost reduction, a valuable complementing approach is the analysis of smaller, relevant gene subsets but involving large cohorts of samples. However, effective adjustment of target sizes and sample numbers is hampered by the limited scalability of enrichment systems. We report a highly scalable and automated method to capture a 480 Kb exome subset of 115 cancer-related genes using microfluidic DNA arrays. The arrays are adaptable from 125 Kb to 1. Mb target size and/or one to eight samples without barcoding strategies, representing a further 26 - 270-fold reduction of calculative sequencing capacity compared to whole exome sequencing. Illumina GAII analysis of a HapMap genome enriched for this exome subset revealed a completeness of > 96%. Uniformity was such that > 68% of exons had at least half the median depth of coverage. An analysis of reference SNPs revealed a sensitivity of up to 93% and a specificity of 98.2% or higher. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Leidinger P.,Saarland University | Keller A.,Biomarker Discovery Center | Keller A.,Febit Biomedical GmbH | Keller A.,Saarland University | And 6 more authors.
Lung Cancer | Year: 2011

Recently we reported differential miRNA signatures in blood cells of lung cancer patients and healthy controls. With the present study we wanted to investigate if miRNA blood signatures are also suited to differentiate lung cancer patients from COPD patients. We compared the expression of 863 human miRNAs in blood cells of lung cancer patients, COPD patients, and healthy controls. The miRNA pattern from patients with lung cancer and COPD were more similar to each other than to the healthy controls. However, we were able to discriminate lung cancer patients and COPD patients with 90.4% accuracy, 89.2% specificity, and 91.7% sensitivity. In total, 140 miRNAs were significant for the comparison COPD and controls, 61 miRNAs were significant for the comparison lung cancer and controls, and 14 miRNAs were significant for the comparison lung cancer and COPD. Screening target databases yielded over 400 putative targets for those 14 miRNAs. The predicted mRNA targets of three of the 14 miRNAs were significantly up-regulated in PBMCs of lung cancer patients compared to patients with non-malignant lung diseases. In conclusion, we showed that blood miRNA signatures are suitable to distinguish lung cancer from COPD. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Sharbati S.,Free University of Berlin | Friedlander M.R.,Max Delbruck Centrum fur Molekulare Medizin | Sharbati J.,Free University of Berlin | Hoeke L.,Free University of Berlin | And 6 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2010

Background: While more than 700 microRNAs (miRNAs) are known in human, a comparably low number has been identified in swine. Because of the close phylogenetic distance to humans, pigs serve as a suitable model for studying e.g. intestinal development or disease. Recent studies indicate that miRNAs are key regulators of intestinal development and their aberrant expression leads to intestinal malignancy.Results: Here, we present the identification of hundreds of apparently novel miRNAs in the porcine intestine. MiRNAs were first identified by means of deep sequencing followed by miRNA precursor prediction using the miRDeep algorithm as well as searching for conserved miRNAs. Second, the porcine miRNAome along the entire intestine (duodenum, proximal and distal jejunum, ileum, ascending and transverse colon) was unraveled using customized miRNA microarrays based on the identified sequences as well as known porcine and human ones. In total, the expression of 332 intestinal miRNAs was discovered, of which 201 represented assumed novel porcine miRNAs. The identified hairpin forming precursors were in part organized in genomic clusters, and most of the precursors were located on chromosomes 3 and 1, respectively. Hierarchical clustering of the expression data revealed subsets of miRNAs that are specific to distinct parts of the intestine pointing to their impact on cellular signaling networks.Conclusions: In this study, we have applied a straight forward approach to decipher the porcine intestinal miRNAome for the first time in mammals using a piglet model. The high number of identified novel miRNAs in the porcine intestine points out their crucial role in intestinal function as shown by pathway analysis. On the other hand, the reported miRNAs may share orthologs in other mammals such as human still to be discovered. © 2010 Sharbati et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Hutzinger R.,Innsbruck Medical University | Mrazek J.,Innsbruck Medical University | Mrazek J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Vorwerk S.,Febit Biomedical GmbH | Huttenhofer A.,Innsbruck Medical University
RNA Biology | Year: 2010

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection of human B cells requires the presence of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), which regulate expression of viral and host genes. To identify differentially expressed regulatory ncRNAs involved in EBV infection, a specialized cDNA library, enriched for ncRNAs derived from EBV-infected cells, was subjected to deep-sequencing. From the deep-sequencing analysis, we generated a custom-designed ncRNA-microchip to investigate differential expression of ncRNA candidates. By this approach, we identified 25 differentially expressed novel host-encoded ncRNA candidates in EBV-infected cells, comprised of six non-repeat-derived and 19 repeat-derived ncRNAs. Upon EBV infection of B cells, we also observed increased expression levels of oncogenic miRNAs mir-221 and mir-222, which might contribute to EBV-related tumorigenesis, as well as decreased expression levels of RNase P RNA, a ribozyme involved in tRNA maturation. Thus, in this study we demonstrate that our ncRNA-microchip approach serves as a powerful tool to identify novel differentially expressed ncRNAs acting as potential regulators of gene expression during EBV infection. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


Leidinger P.,Saarland University | Keller A.,Febit Biomedical gmbh | Keller A.,Biomarker Discovery Center Heidelberg | Borries A.,Febit Biomedical gmbh | And 5 more authors.
BMC Cancer | Year: 2010

Background: MicroRNA (miRNA) signatures are not only found in cancer tissue but also in blood of cancer patients. Specifically, miRNA detection in blood offers the prospect of a non-invasive analysis tool.Methods: Using a microarray based approach we screened almost 900 human miRNAs to detect miRNAs that are deregulated in their expression in blood cells of melanoma patients. We analyzed 55 blood samples, including 20 samples of healthy individuals, 24 samples of melanoma patients as test set, and 11 samples of melanoma patients as independent validation set.Results: A hypothesis test based approch detected 51 differentially regulated miRNAs, including 21 miRNAs that were downregulated in blood cells of melanoma patients and 30 miRNAs that were upregulated in blood cells of melanoma patients as compared to blood cells of healthy controls. The tets set and the independent validation set of the melanoma samples showed a high correlation of fold changes (0.81). Applying hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis we found that blood samples of melanoma patients and healthy individuals can be well differentiated from each other based on miRNA expression analysis. Using a subset of 16 significant deregulated miRNAs, we were able to reach a classification accuracy of 97.4%, a specificity of 95% and a sensitivity of 98.9% by supervised analysis. MiRNA microarray data were validated by qRT-PCR.Conclusions: Our study provides strong evidence for miRNA expression signatures of blood cells as useful biomarkers for melanoma. © 2010 Leidinger et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Patenge N.,University of Rostock | Billion A.,Justus Liebig University | Raasch P.,University of Rostock | Normann J.,University of Rostock | And 6 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2012

Background+: Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) have attracted attention as a new class of gene regulators in both eukaryotes and bacteria. Genome-wide screening methods have been successfully applied in Gram-negative bacteria to identify sRNA regulators. Many sRNAs are well characterized, including their target mRNAs and mode of action. In comparison, little is known about sRNAs in Gram-positive pathogens. In this study, we identified novel sRNAs in the exclusively human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes M49 (Group A Streptococcus, GAS M49), employing a whole genome intergenic tiling array approach. GAS is an important pathogen that causes diseases ranging from mild superficial infections of the skin and mucous membranes of the naso-pharynx, to severe toxic and invasive diseases.Results: We identified 55 putative sRNAs in GAS M49 that were expressed during growth. Of these, 42 were novel. Some of the newly-identified sRNAs belonged to one of the common non-coding RNA families described in the Rfam database. Comparison of the results of our screen with the outcome of two recently published bioinformatics tools showed a low level of overlap between putative sRNA genes. Previously, 40 potential sRNAs have been reported to be expressed in a GAS M1T1 serotype, as detected by a whole genome intergenic tiling array approach. Our screen detected 12 putative sRNA genes that were expressed in both strains. Twenty sRNA candidates appeared to be regulated in a medium-dependent fashion, while eight sRNA genes were regulated throughout growth in chemically defined medium. Expression of candidate genes was verified by reverse transcriptase-qPCR. For a subset of sRNAs, the transcriptional start was determined by 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends-PCR (RACE-PCR) analysis.Conclusions: In accord with the results of previous studies, we found little overlap between different screening methods, which underlines the fact that a comprehensive analysis of sRNAs expressed by a given organism requires the complementary use of different methods and the investigation of several environmental conditions. Despite a high conservation of sRNA genes within streptococci, the expression of sRNAs appears to be strain specific. © 2012 Patenge et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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