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Biotechniques. 2013 Feb;54(2):77-86. doi: 10.2144/000113991.

A simple high-throughput technology enables gain-of-function screening of human microRNAs.

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1
Center for Stem Cell Biology & Regenerative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRs) regulate cellular processes by modulating gene expression. Although transcriptomic studies have identified numerous miRs differentially expressed in diseased versus normal cells, expression analysis alone cannot distinguish miRs driving a disease phenotype from those merely associated with the disease. To address this limitation, we developed miR-HTS, a method for unbiased high-throughput screening of the miRNome to identify functionally relevant miRs. Herein, we applied miR-HTS to simultaneously analyze the effects of 578 lentivirally transduced human miRs or miR clusters on growth of the IMR90 human lung fibroblast cell line. Growth-regulatory miRs were identified by quantitating the representation (i.e., relative abundance) of cells overexpressing each miR over a one-month culture of IMR90, using a panel of custom-designed quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays specific for each transduced miR expression cassette. The miR-HTS identified 4 miRs previously reported to inhibit the growth of human lung-derived cell lines and 55 novel growth-inhibitory miR candidates. Nine of 12 (75%) selected candidate miRs were validated and shown to inhibit IMR90 cell growth. Thus, this novel lentiviral library- and qPCR-based miR-HTS technology provides a sensitive platform for functional screening that is straightforward and relatively inexpensive.

PMID:
23384178
PMCID:
PMC3671589
DOI:
10.2144/000113991
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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