Press release – Two-tailed PCR for microRNA

13th July

TATAA Biocenter and BTU develops Two-tailed PCR for microRNA analysis offering superior sensitivity and specificity

TATAA Biocenter and the Institute of Biotechnology, BIOCEV, has developed Two-Tailed PCR for ultrasensitive analysis of microRNAs based on products from Roche. Based on an innovative novel design with a RT primer sensing the microRNA using two connected hemi-probes exceeding sensitivity and superior specificity is achieved. The results of the work appeared in this week’s issue of the prestigious journal Nucleic Acids Research.

Mature microRNAs are single-stranded molecules only 22-24 nucleotides in length. They constitute a recently discovered class of non-coding RNAs that plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression. Many microRNAs are present in families that differ only in a single base position or terminal modification. Acting at the post-transcriptional level, microRNAs fine-tune the expression of many protein-encoding genes. microRNAs are present in tissues, but also in biofluids, where they are actively transported as reporter molecules. This feature makes microRNAs exceedingly attractive biomarkers and its use is currently being standardized by the European effort SPIDIA.

There are several techniques to measure microRNA levels with quantitative PCR, but current methods use conventional pairs of primers that each is 20-25 bases in lengths. To be able to amplify the short microRNAs they must be elongated, which often compromises sensitivity and specificity. The novel Two-tailed approach solves this problem by sensing the microRNA sequencing with two short hemiprobes. Neither hemiprobe is long enough to bind alone, but in the novel Two-Tailed design the hemiprobes are connected, which leads to cooperative binding, such that either both bind, which gives sufficient contact and stability, or neither binds. Since each hemiprobe is short, a mismatch in its binding site has major impact, leading to the enhanced specificity of the Two-tailed method.

Two-tailed PCR was compared to three other methods for microRNA detection and found to be more sensitive and specific, being capable to detect fewer than 10 microRNA molecules in a sample. Two-tailed PCR can be multiplexed to essentially any degree using 2-tube protocol and when using one-tube protocol multiplexing with probes is possible. Two-tailed PCR is one of the methods currently evaluated for microRNA detection in liquid biopsies collected for the management of cancer within the European effort Cancer-ID and for Sepsis within the European effort Smartdiagnos. Custom Two-tailed assays can be ordered.

About TATAA Biocenter

TATAA Biocenter is world’s largest organizer of hands-on training in quantitative real-time PCR and Next Generation Sequencing, Europe’s leading provider of nucleic acid analysis services, and Sweden’s most comprehensive distributor of products for nucleic acids analysis. TATAA Biocenter offers a seamless workflow for high quality nucleic acids analysis from experimental design, sample preparation, quality control, and analysis, meeting the specific requirements for compliance with ISO17025 standard. Founded in 2001, TATAA Biocenter has laboratories in Gothenburg, Sweden, and in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2013 TATAA Biocenter was presented the Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Leadership as Best-in-Class Services for Analyzing Genetic Material.

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TATAA miRNA 2-Tailed RT-qPCR assays

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