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Comparing efficiency of micro-RNA and mRNA biomarker liberation with microbubble-enhanced ultrasound exposure.

By:
Contributors: Robert Paproski, PhD
Ultrasound Med Biol. 2014 Sep;40(9):2207-16. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2014.05.005. Epub 2014 Jul 9.

Abstract

Blood biomarkers are potentially powerful diagnostic tools that are limited clinically by low concentrations, the inability to determine biomarker origin and unknown patient baseline. Recently, ultrasound has been shown to liberate proteins and large mRNA biomarkers, overcoming many of these limitations. We have since demonstrated that adding lipid-stabilized microbubbles elevates mRNA concentration an order of magnitude compared with ultrasound without microbubbles, in vitro. Unfortunately the large size of some mRNA molecules may limit efficiency of release and hinder efficacy as an ultrasound-liberated biomarker. We hypothesize that smaller molecules will be released more efficiently with ultrasound than larger molecules. Although investigation of large libraries of biomarkers should be performed to fully validate this hypothesis, we focus on a small subset of mRNA and micro-RNAs. Specifically, we focus on miR-21 (22 base pairs [bp]), which is upregulated in certain forms of cancer, compared with previously investigated mammaglobin mRNA (502 bp). We also report release of micro-RNA miR-155 (22 bp) and housekeeping rRNA S18 (1869 bp). More than 10 million additional miR-21 copies per 100,000 cells are released with ultrasound-microbubble exposure. The low- molecular-weight miR-21 proved to be liberated 50 times more efficiently than high-molecular-weight mammaglobin mRNA, releasing orders of magnitude more miR-21 than mammaglobin mRNA under comparable conditions.

 PubMed

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Congratulations to APCaRI recipients of JAHIP grants!

Congratulations to Drs. John Lewis, Eric Hyndman, Morley Hollenberg and Harvey Quon for being awarded each with a JAHIP grant (Johnson & Johnson Alberta Health Innovation Partnership) to better diagnose prostate cancer using different platforms and to determine mutations in patients with high-risk PCa.

This is a great opportunity to start long-lasting partnerships with J&J and the University Hospital Foundation and to develop new and better tests for PCa.

The original plan was to fund 2 applications, however, due to the high quality of the proposals, the committee decided to grant 2 more.

- Catalina Vasquez