miRNAs: potent biomarkers in cancer research?

journal.pone.0118220.g002

Expression signals of validated miRNAs that differentiated pancreato-biliary cancer from non-malignant abnormalities (A), or from cancers of other types (B).

A recent paper by Kojima, M. et al. has found a signature of miRNAs to identify patients with pancreato-biliary cancers who could benefit from surgical intervention.

Namely, a combination of eight miRNAs (miR-6075, miR-4294, miR-6880-5p, miR-6799-5p, miR-125a-3p, miR-4530, miR-6836-3p, and miR-4476) achieved a sensitivity, specificity, accuracy and AUC of 80.3%, 97.6%, 91.6% and 0.953, respectively.

In contrast, CA19-9 and CEA gave sensitivities of 65.6% and 40.0%, specificities of 92.9% and 88.6%, and accuracies of 82.1% and 71.8%, respectively, in the same test cohort. This diagnostic index identified 18/21 operable pancreatic cancers and 38/48 operable biliary-tract cancers in the entire cohort.

Finding of this eight miRNAs was possible by using Toray’s 3D profiling technology. This finding is especially important, as it is difficult to detect pancreatic cancer or biliary-tract cancer at an early stage using current diagnostic technology.

microRNAs are stably present in peripheral blood, and are therefore a good candidate for finding prognostic or diagnostic biomarkers.

Studying only the miRNAs available in the literature may limit the novelty of the biomarkers found, so for a wide variety of diseases, a profiling is mandatory in order to find really specific circulating biomarkers.

Toray’s technology is available in Europe as fee-for-services via tebu-bio Laboratories (see Press Release). By exploring the full miRnome (composed by 2,000 miRNAs) with Toray’s 3D-Gene® technology, one might identify slight miRNA expression level changes (including low abundance miRNAs) in blood samples, biopsies FFPE specimens…

Interested in miRNA profiling in cancer research? Leave a message below or browse tebu-bio’s 3D-Gene® miRNA profiling platform web page!

Array profiling to study PPAR-alpha in progenitor cell

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR-alpha also known as NR1C1)  regulates a myriad of biological processes. It is a key modulator of lipid metabolism.

Raybiotech C-Series Arrays by tebu-bio (ready-to-use kits and lab services)

Raybiotech C-Series Arrays by tebu-bio (ready-to-use kits and lab services).

Vergori, L. et al. have shown in murine models how PPAR-alpha regulates endothelial progenitor cell maturation and myeloid lineage differentiation via a NADPH oxidase-dependent mechanism. (1) All the data described in this publication suggest that PPAR-alpha, in murine models, is a critical regulator of recruitment, homing and maturation of Bone Marrow-derived progenitor cells.

This conclusion was made (in part) possible with the analysis of secretome markers by using C-Series profiling arrays for the analysis of bone marrow-derived cells in PPAR-alpha wild-type vs. KO mice.

RayBio® Membrane-Based Antibody Arrays (C-Series) are tools for screening and comparing expression levels of many cytokines between samples. C-series Arrays are available as ready-to-use kits or lab services. To ensure top quality in the data obtained, Raybiotech’s service providers successfully complete training and certification programs to receive the “RayBiotech Certified Array Service Providers” yellow award.

In Europe, tebu-bio laboratories (France) were among the first laboratories in the world to be certified by Raybiotech in 2012.

tebu-bio’s services also cover Quansys BioSciences and FullMoon BioSystems technologies for outsourcing protein profiling and quantification.

Interested in studying the secretome biomarkers relevant in your model for Cardiovascular diseases?

Leave your comment or contact us!tebu-bio: European RaybioTech's Certified Laboratory service provider

Source:
(1) Vergori L. et al. “PPARa regulates endothelial progenitor cell maturation and myeloid lineage differentiation through a NADPH oxidase-dependent mechanism in mice” (2015) Stem Cells – 33 (4) :1292-303. DOI: 10.1002/stem.1924.

Genetic fingerprint of aggressive colon tumours

1.organoides_tumorales_de_pacientes

Patient-derived tumour organoids (mini colon tumours). In blue: cellular nuclei; in red: cellular membranes (Image: Alexandre Calon, IRB Barcelona).

Researchers at the IRB in Barcelona have found a signature of 4-6 genes able to predict the aggressivity of colon tumours, by analysing the tissue surrounding the tumour cells.

The scientists are currently developing a test that enables the identification of patients at risk of relapse after surgical removal of the tumour by measuring these found genes. They also propose to test in patients a particular drug that blocks the metastatic capacity of colorectal cancers in mice. This drug has been already tested using organoids derived from patients’ samples.

Source:

On a more funny note, have a look at the video done this last summer by researchers at the IRB Barcelona!

Any exciting research (or videos!) done over at your laboratory or institute?

We would like to know!

Cytokine signature in airway inflammation with arrays

Chronic Mucosal Inflammation is the hallmark of common airway diseases (ex.  Allergic Rhinitis and asthma). Lipoxin B4(LXB4) is an endogenous mucosal protective mediator decreasing such diseases. LXB4 mechanisms of action remain poorly understood.

Cytokine Quantibody Arrays from Raybiotech and tebu-bio laboratories

Cytokine Quantibody Arrays from Raybiotech and tebu-bio laboratories.

In a recent paper in Mucosal Immunology (Karra, L. et al. (2015) 8; DOI:10.1038/mi.2014.116), Allergic Rhinitis  and asthma murine models have been described to better investigate the role of LXB4 in Mucosal Inflammation. The authors conclude that, in the upper airway, LXB4 significantly decreases nasal mucosal leukocytes and degranulation of Mast Cells (MCs) and Eosinophils. They also show that, in the lower airway, LXB4 significantly decreased airway inflammation, mucus metaplasia, and hyper-responsiveness.

Inhibition of MC degranulation in vivo by LXB4 is more potent than Dexamethasone (a well-known apoptosis inducing glucocorticoid) with unique profiles for cytokine regulation. This latter  is proved by  quantitative analysis of 20 murine cytokines in a single array (Quantibody Cytokine Array).

These findings indicate that LXB4 carries cell type selective and mucosal protective actions and need to be translated to human models. This publication opens the way to consider lipoxins as new therapeutical candidates.

tebu-bio: European RaybioTech's Certified Laboratory service provider

tebu-bio laboratories are the European RaybioTech’s Certified Laboratory service provider.

The Cytokine Arrays are available as ready-to-use assays. They can also be outsourced to Certified Service Laboratory Providers as fee-for-services. In that case, researchers just send their samples and in return receive the experimental data set. To ensure top quality in the data obtained, Raybiotech’s service providers successfully complete training and certification programs to receive the “RayBiotech Certified Array Service Providers” yellow award.

In Europe, tebu-bio laboratories (France) were among the first laboratories in the world to be certified by Raybiotech in 2012. tebu-bio’s services also cover Quansys BioSciences and FullMoon BioSystems technologies for outsourcing protein profiling and quantification.

Sensitive ELISA for Oxytocin quantification

The neuropeptides, Oxytocin and Vasopressin, were isolated and synthesized by Vincent du Vigneaud at Cornell Medical College in 1953, work for which he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1955. Oxytocin is a neurohypophysial peptide which is produced in the paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus and stored in the posterior pituitary. The molecule consists of nine amino acids linked with a disulfide bond and a semi-flexible carboxyamidated tail. Recent studies have defined Oxytocin’s role in various behaviors like social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors (1-4) but also, male reproductive physiology. (5)

[Read more…]

8 criteria for selecting your ELISA kits

Biomarkers specialists are often asked to select an ELISA kit for researchers: with thousands of ELISA references available on the market, the choice can be tricky regarding proteins for which several kits available.

When researchers have to choose a new ELISA kit, the price is regularly the first parameter of selection. But my experience with long term projects shows that it should in fact be the very last one…

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Basics about insulin and dedicated research tools

Diabetes is a major health concern. And its research can be a nightmare sometimes. tebu-bio strive to offer a comprehensive range of research tools and services to study Obesity, Diabetes, and Metabolic syndrome (including pancreatic islet cells), and tools to unravel signaling mechanisms in insulin secretion. Anyhow, it might be good, though, to go back to the basics from time to time. Let’s remember our graduate courses (more or less years ago) about Insulin and its biological roles.

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Keep cool… corticosterone and stress

Corticosterone is a glucocorticoid secreted by the cortex of the adrenal gland in response to stimulation by adrenocorticotropic hormone. Corticosterone is a major indicator of stress in non-human mammals. Glucocorticoids, such as corticosterone, guide fundamental processes associated with converting sugar, fat, and protein stores to useable energy; inhibiting swelling and inflammation, and suppressing immune responses following a stress event.

Measuring Corticosterone

corticosterone

Comparison of the EIA kit described in this post with traditional RIA, using 1 ul mouse tail bleed samples.

Competitive immunoassays, such as RIA and EIA methods, are the typical means for measuring levels of corticosterone in biological matrices. Most RIAs or EIAs require solvent extraction techniques to measure serum or plasma corticosterone levels, however extraction may be very difficult or impossible with mouse samples due to the large volumes of plasma or serum required for most extraction protocols. [Read more…]

More data with chemiluminescence imaging platform

Quansys Q-View Imager Pro. Source: tebu-bio.

Quansys Q-View Imager Pro. Source: tebu-bio.

Depending on the phase where your biomarker-related research program is, imaging of protein or antibody arrays has different requirements. For R&D purposes (incl. translational and preclinical ones), a standard imager is more than enough. However, for clinical assays at the late stages, a higher resolution may be needed, especially in view of a future file submission.

Known for the development of the Q-plex platform, which is being used by translational and clinical laboratories worldwide (e.g. to detect Pneumococcus), Quansys has released a new imager, designed for higher throughput (96- and 384-well plates) and clinical-grade research. [Read more…]

From osteoarthritis to bladder cancer… hyaluronic acid is not just cosmetics!

Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is important in many biological processes such as wound repair, tissue hydration and inflammation. HA is also a potential biomarker for diseases such as osteoarthritis, liver cirrhosis and bladder cancer. So its importance as a prognostic / diagnostic / predictive biomarker is still to be elucidated… but it might be present even when you don’t expect it!

Hyaluronan (HA) is a linear polysaccharide comprised of a repeating disaccharide of N-acetylglucosamine and D-glucuronic acid. The major function of HA is to provide structural support of tissue as part of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Thus, HA is widely presented in connective tissue in higher animals. The size of HA varies from 100 kD to 10,000 kD and is responsible for different functions. [Read more…]