Tag Archives: gene expression

Enabling microRNA Discoveries – 250th Peer-Reviewed Publication Made Possible By µparaflo Custom Microarray Technology

LC Sciences, a life sciences company leading the development of innovative microRNA (miRNA) analysis and discovery technologies, announced today the publication of over 250 peer-reviewed studies using the company’s microarray service for analyzing miRNA expression profiles. These studies, by leading researchers in the field, represent significant steps toward realizing these small regulatory RNA’s potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.

MiRNAs have proven to be an extremely important part of the gene expression regulation mechanism of a wide variety of cellular processes. This is evident in the amount of relevant findings by LC Sciences’ customers being translated into published reports and the diverse range of study areas that these publications encompass: cancer research, neuroscience, cardiovascular research, reproductive biology, plant science, microbiology, immunology and stem cell research. LC Sciences’ miRNA profiling service, powered by its µParaflo® custom microarray technology, provides quick, reliable, fully analyzed datasets enabling researchers to immediately move forward with groundbreaking research.

The miRNA field is still nascent, and it is advancing rapidly. The race to discovery has produced a continuous stream of new miRNA sequences as well as routine revisions of inaccurate or incomplete sequences. This fluidity has caused many microarrays with static content to fall away and has fueled reports of the wholesale replacement of microarrays by new methods such as RNA-Seq. But the nimble, customizable format of the µParaflo® array has given it staying power, not only by enabling it to keep current with all known miRNAs, but also by making use of data generated by RNA-Seq. These custom arrays have benefited from RNA-sequencing generating novel content that other arrays are unable to capture and take advantage of.

The 250th study, entitled “Wolbachia uses host microRNAs to manipulate host gene expression and facilitate colonization of the dengue vector Aedes aegypti.” appeared in the May 31st issue of PNAS and was one of a group of articles published recently by LC Sciences’ customers describing microarray expression analysis of miRNAs recently discovered through RNA Sequencing.

Researchers at the University of Queensland, Australia studied the underlying mechanisms of host manipulation by a widespread endosymbiont. Using microarrays, they show that the miRNA profile of the mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is significantly altered by a life-shortening strain of W. pipientis bacteria. This is extremely important work as introduction of Wolbachia into mosquitoes has been proposed as a method for malaria control. They found that a host miRNA (aae-miR-2940) is induced after W. pipientis infection in both mosquitoes and cell lines.

This study illustrates the versatility of µParaflo® from a couple of perspectives. First, mosquito, an important though non-model species was the target of interest here and mosquito arrays, as well as arrays from any of the 153 species listed in the miRBase public sequence database, are readily available from LC Sciences. Second, custom content (novel miRNA sequences from an earlier sequencing study on the same species) was quickly integrated into the content of the insect array providing an even richer expression dataset. Though all the previously described, known insect miRNAs were also present on the arrays, several custom sequences were significantly differentially expressed in infected mosquitoes and a custom sequence turned out to be one that became a focus of the investigation. Dr. Sassan Asgari, lead researcher for the study, commented that microarrays “…provided an affordable approach to the study of differential expression of small RNAs and miRNAs in particular.”

Via EPR Network
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LC Sciences announced the availability of probe content miRBase 10.0 for their microRNA (miRNA) microarray customers

Taking advantage of its flexible µParaflo™ Chip Technology, Houston based LC Sciences today announced immediate availability of probe content miRBase 10.0 for their microRNA (miRNA) microarray customers. This announcement comes less than a week after Sanger Institute’s update of their sequence database for known miRNAs (miRBase) 1 to version 10.0 (http://microrna.sanger.ac.uk/sequences). As the jump in

version numbers from 9.2 to 10.0 suggests, this update marks a major milestone and features significant changes: 489 new hairpin sequences and 971 novel mature miR and miR* experimentally verified products have been added.

These numbers represent an increase of unique miRNA sequences by 42%. “This exciting increase in data means that researchers using pre-spotted glass arrays with probe content based on versions as recent as 9.1 are missing 49% of mouse, and more than 50% of human sequences, just to give two examples. The other important point is that these sequences are experimentally verified and publicly available data. Unlike with proprietary probe content the researcher has full access and control over the results.” said Chris Hebel, Director of Business Development at LC Sciences.

The importance of this update is emphasized by another aspect of the release: many human, mouse and rat mature miRNAs were renamed and the sequence boundaries changed to reflect the predominant forms identified in recent large-scale cloning studies. The public miRBase sequence database serves as the primary probe content for many commercially available miRNA profiling microarrays. Detection of miRNAs using a microarray offers the opportunity for genome-wide miRNA expression profiling by examining all known miRNA transcripts in a single experiment. However, the continued updating of the database can be problematic for researchers using pre-spotted glass slide arrays as the probe content of the arrays immediately goes out of date whenever a new miRBase version is released. Especially, in a rapidly evolving field as miRNA research it is important to scientists to have the most complete picture of miRNAs expressed in their experimental samples.

LC Sciences miRNA microarrays make use of a microfluidics on-chip synthesis platform, termed µParaFlo™, versus a traditional spotted array based on pre-synthesized oligonucleotides. This on-chip synthesis platform solves the issue of out of date microarrays because made-to-order microarrays can be produced, delivering the most up-to-date research tools to researchers.

In addition to providing much more uniform and reproducible features than a spotted array, on-chip synthesis permits the total customization of content on each individual microarray opening up additional applications such as the discovery of new miRNAs and other small non-coding RNAs.

About microRNA (miRNA)
miRNAs are small non-protein-coding RNA molecules that function as negative regulators of gene expression by base pairing with specific mRNAs. This either inhibits translation or promotes mRNA degradation. About miRBase – The miRBase sequence database is a comprehensive database of miRNA sequence data, annotation, and predicted gene targets and is the primary public repository for these data. Release 10.0 of the database contains 5071 entries representing hairpin precursor miRNAs, expressing 4922 maturemiRNA products, in primates, rodents, birds, fish, worms, flies, plants and viruses (miRBase release summary). miRBase also provides a gene-naming service for assigning official miRNA names to novel miRNAs before they are published. It is freely available to all at http://microrna.sanger.ac.uk/.

About LC Sciences
LC Sciences offers specialty microarray services for nucleic acid/protein profiling and functional analysis, biomarker-discovery, and novel drug screening. Our array service products are based on Atactic Technologies’ µParaflo™ platform technologies that encompass advanced digital chemical synthesis, pico-liter scale biochemical assays, and microfluidic reaction devices containing high density individual 3D chambers.


Via EPR Network
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