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Direct identification of microribonucleic acid miR-451 from plasma using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry

Basiri, Babak, Sutton, J. Michael, Hooshfar, Shirin, Byrnes, Charnel C., Murph, Mandi M., Bartlett, Michael G.
Journal of chromatography 2019 v.1584 pp. 97-105
biomarkers, chemistry, humans, liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, microRNA, quantitative analysis, rats
In recent years, small endogenous RNAs have come to the forefront of both basic and translational research. For example, many studies have pointed to the potential role of microRNAs (miRNAs) as disease biomarkers. However, precise quantitative methods for the analysis of miRNAs are still lacking. In this study, we report the first mass spectrometry-based quantitation of miR-451, a circulatory microRNA. Using a highly selective sample preparation method with an average recovery of 83.6% and a novel mobile phase chemistry, we were able to reach an LOQ of 0.5 ng/mL. Because of such high sensitivity, we could detect and quantify the endogenous miR-451 from both human and rat plasma. Considering the increased precision of LC–MS compared to other methods, these results usher in a new era of miRNA biomarker discovery and validation.