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High-Throughput Functional MicroRNAs Profiling by Recombinant AAV-Based MicroRNA Sensor Arrays
Published: Thursday, January 05, 2012
Author: Wenhong Tian et al.

by Wenhong Tian, Xiaoyan Dong, Xuerong Liu, Gang Wang, Zheyue Dong, Wei Shen, Gang Zheng, Jianxin Lu, Jinzhong Chen, Yue Wang, Zhijian Wu, Xiaobing Wu


microRNAs (miRNAs) are small and non-coding RNAs which play critical roles in physiological and pathological processes. A number of methods have been established to detect and quantify miRNA expression. However, method for high-throughput miRNA function detection is still lacking.

Principal Findings

We describe an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-based microRNA (miRNA) sensor (Asensor) array for high-throughput functional miRNA profiling. Each Asensor contains a Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) and a firefly luciferase (Fluc) expression cassette to sense functional miRNA and to serve as an internal control respectively. Using this array, we acquired functional profiles of 115 miRNAs for 12 cell lines and found “functional miRNA signatures” for several specific cell lines. The activities of specific miRNAs including the let-7 family, miR-17-92 cluster, miR-221, and miR-222 in HEK 293 cells were compared with their expression levels determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (QRT-PCR). We also demonstrate two other practical applications of the array, including a comparison of the miRNA activity between HEK293 and HEK293T cells and the ability to monitor miRNA activity changes in K562 cells treated with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA).


Our approach has potential applications in the identification of cell types, the characterization of biological and pathological processes, and the evaluation of responses to interventions.