Comprehensive profiling of circulating microRNA via small RNA sequencing of cDNA libraries reveals biomarker potential and limitations

Zev Williams, Iddo Z. Ben-Dov, Rony Elias, Aleksandra Mihailovic, Miguel Brown, Zev Rosenwaks, Thomas Tuschl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

211 Scopus citations


We profiled microRNAs (miRNAs) in cell-free serum and plasma samples fromhuman volunteers using deep sequencing of barcoded small RNA cDNA libraries. By introducing calibrator synthetic oligonucleotides during library preparation, we were able to calculate the total as well as specific concentrations of circulating miRNA. Studying trios of samples from newborn babies and their parents we detected placental-specific miRNA in both maternal and newborn circulations and quantitated the relative contribution of placental miRNAs to the circulating pool of miRNAs. Furthermore, sequence variation in the placental miRNA profiles could be traced to the specific placenta of origin. These deep sequencing profiles, which may serve as a model for tumor or disease detection, allow us to define the repertoire of miRNA abundance in the circulation and potential uses as biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4255-4260
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 12 2013



  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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