Geneticist NIEHS Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA that regulate the expression of messenger RNA, are released into biofluids, and are implicated in almost all cellular processes. Importantly, miRNAs are stable in biofluid matrices where they may serve as indicators of organ or cell-specific toxicity, disease, and biological status. There has thus been great enthusiasm for developing miRNAs as biomarkers of adverse outcomes for scientific, regulatory, and clinical purposes. Despite advances in measurement capabilities for miRNAs in biological samples, miRNAs are still not routinely employed as non-invasive biomarkers. This is in part due to the lack of standard approaches for sample preparation and miRNA measurement and uncertainty in their biological interpretation. Members of the microRNA Biomarkers Workgroup within the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute’s (HESI) Committee on Emerging Systems Toxicology for the Assessment of Risk (eSTAR) are a consortium of private- and public-sector scientists dedicated to developing miRNAs as applied biomarkers. Through a dedicated consortium effort, the working group has identified miRNA biomarkers that, when leaked into urine following kidney toxicity, inform underlying renal pathology in the rat and areas of nephron injury.
Attendees will gain an appreciation for miRNA biomarkers and their utility as non-invasive biomarkers.
A consortium effort to identify urinary miRNA biomarkers associated with defined renal pathologies will be detailed.
Attendees will learn about potential pitfalls and considerations for urinary miRNA measurement and biomarker development.