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Analysis of Circulating microRNAs and Their Post-Transcriptional Modifications in Cancer Serum by On-Line Solid-Phase Extraction–Capillary Electrophoresis–Mass Spectrometry

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journal contribution
posted on 07.05.2018, 00:00 by Roger Pero-Gascon, Victoria Sanz-Nebot, Maxim V. Berezovski, Fernando Benavente
In this paper, an on-line solid-phase extraction capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry (SPE-CE-MS) method is described for the purification, preconcentration, separation, and characterization of endogenous microRNA (miRNA) and their post-transcriptional modifications in serum. First, analysis by CE-MS was optimized using a standard mixture of hsa-miR-21-5p (miR-21-5p) and hsa-let-7g-5p (let-7g-5p). For SPE-CE-MS, a commercial silicon carbide (SiC) resin was used to prepare the microcartridges. Under the optimized conditions with standards, the microcartridge lifetime (>25 analyses) and repeatability (2.8% RSD for the migration times; 4.4 and 6.4% RSD for the miR-21-5p and let-7g-5p peak areas, respectively) were good, the method was linear between 25 and 100 nmol·L–1, and the limit of detection (LOD) was around 10 nmol·L–1 (50 times lower than by CE-MS). In order to analyze human serum samples, an off-line sample pretreatment based on phenol/chloroform/isoamyl alcohol (PCA) extraction was necessary prior to SPE-CE-MS. The potential of the SPE-CE-MS method to screen for B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) was demonstrated by an analysis of serum samples from healthy controls and patients. MicroRNAs, specifically miR-21-5p and a 23 nucleotide long 5′-phosphorylated miRNA with 3′-uridylation (iso-miR-16-5p), were only detected in the CLL patients.