Article

Circulating miRNA Biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease

University of Melbourne, Australia
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 07/2013; 8(7):e69807. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069807
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A minimally invasive diagnostic assay for early detection of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is required to select optimal patient groups in clinical trials, monitor disease progression and response to treatment, and to better plan patient clinical care. Blood is an attractive source for biomarkers due to minimal discomfort to the patient, encouraging greater compliance in clinical trials and frequent testing. MiRNAs belong to the class of non-coding regulatory RNA molecules of ∼22 nt length and are now recognized to regulate ∼60% of all known genes through post-transcriptional gene silencing (RNAi). They have potential as useful biomarkers for clinical use because of their stability and ease of detection in many tissues, especially blood. Circulating profiles of miRNAs have been shown to discriminate different tumor types, indicate staging and progression of the disease and to be useful as prognostic markers. Recently their role in neurodegenerative diseases, both as diagnostic biomarkers as well as explaining basic disease etiology has come into focus. Here we report the discovery and validation of a unique circulating 7-miRNA signature (hsa-let-7d-5p, hsa-let-7g-5p, hsa-miR-15b-5p, hsa-miR-142-3p, hsa-miR-191-5p, hsa-miR-301a-3p and hsa-miR-545-3p) in plasma, which could distinguish AD patients from normal controls (NC) with >95% accuracy (AUC of 0.953). There was a >2 fold difference for all signature miRNAs between the AD and NC samples, with p-values<0.05. Pathway analysis, taking into account enriched target mRNAs for these signature miRNAs was also carried out, suggesting that the disturbance of multiple enzymatic pathways including lipid metabolism could play a role in AD etiology.

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