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MicroRNAs as Biomarkers and Diagnostics

Discovery and validation of miRNA biomarkers

Biomarkers have the potential to allow us to predict, diagnose or monitor disease. In particular, there is a need to discover biomarkers that can be used to detect diseases for which early diagnosis is crucial or diagnosis is currently difficult. Proteins in circulation have been used as biomarkers for many years (Rifai et al., 2006); however, miRNAs have recently emerged as ideal biomarkers for studying normal cellular processes, pathological conditions, and response to therapeutic intervention (Etheridge et al., 2011). Their presence in biofluids such as plasma, urine and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) makes them ideally suited for liquid biopsies in patients (Moldovan et al., 2014). Further, miRNAs are highly stable in circulation, and their tissue-specific expression patterns have been found to fluctuate in response to inflammation, acute and chronic tissue injury, and in cancer (Moldovan et al., 2014).

Active Motif has developed an extensive selection of tools and services to accelerate miRNA biomarker discovery and validation.

Purify nuclear and cytoplasm specific miRNA populations
RNA Subcellular Isolation Kit Active Motif's RNA Subcellular Isolation Kit provides an efficient method to isolate nuclear, cytoplasmic, or total RNA without cross-contamination or the use of phenolic compounds. This method also improves the accuracy of gene expression profiling and can help to localize long and short non-coding RNAs (e.g. lncRNA, miRNA, mRNA, piRNA, and snoRNA) to their site of action, which can provide important insights into their functional role. More >

Isolate mRNA targets of your miRNA of interest
antibodies The Active Motif miRNA Target IP Kit is designed to identify the physical interactions of a specific miRNA with endogenous mRNA transcripts. The immunoprecipitation of miRNA/mRNA complexes enables validation of the specific binding targets of your miRNA of interest. More >

Study the impact of miRNAs on gene regulation
Tools to Study Gene Regulation Choose from over 12,000 endogenous human 3´UTR clones that make up the LightSwitch 3´UTR Reporter Collection. These are ideal for performing miRNA target validation, as well as assessing the functional impact of miRNA-3´UTR interactions. In combination with the miRNA Mimics and Inhibitors, which are co-transfected with the 3´UTR Reporter constructs, you have everything needed to validate miRNA targets, measure RNA stability, translation efficiency, and the functional impact of miRNAs on a gene-by-gene basis. More >

Synthetic miRNA targets serve as biosensors for endogenous miRNAs
Tools to Study Gene Regulation We have created a selection of LightSwitch reporter vectors with synthetic target sequences for 918 miRNAs based on miRNA sequence information from miRBase 16 as a complement to our endogenous human 3′UTR GoClones. These Synthetic miRNA targets respond more strongly than endogenous 3’UTR targets and can be used as positive controls and to determine the optimal treatment conditions in your cell system. More >

Determine the impact of miRNA overexpression and inhibition
LightSwitch™ Mimics & Inhibitors The LightSwitch miRNA mimics and inhibitors provide a means to efficiently study the function of specific miRNAs in a range of organisms, and to validate their role in regulating target genes. The Mimics are chemically optimized synthetic double-stranded RNAs acting as functional equivalents to endogenous human miRNAs by up-regulating miRNA activity. The inhibitors, on the other hand, are used to knock down the expression of endogenous human miRNAs. Together they enable an miRNA functional analysis in living cells. More >