Circulating microRNAs as stable biomarkers for detection of erythropoiesis-stimulating agent abuse-Grant awarded by the WADA (World Anti-doping Agency)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small (19 to 25-nucleotides) noncoding transcripts involved in many cellular mechanisms, including erythropoiesis and response to hypoxia. MiRNAs have been found in tissues and also in serum and plasma as well as other body fluids, in a remarkably stable form that is protected from endogenous RNase activity and harsh conditions. Moreover, plasmatic miRNAs were shown to be very specific and sensitive biomarkers. Due to all these aspect miRNAs can serve as potential biomarkers for detection for detection of various cancers, diseases and injuries. Erythropoietin-erythropoietin receptor (EPO-EPOR) signaling plays a master role in the erythtropoiesis. Several studies have reported a major role of miRNAs in erythropoiesis. Specific miRNAs were shown to accumulate to very high levels in red blood cells and were associated with early development and maturation of erythroids. In this project, we are going to investigate whether circulating microRNAs can serve as biomarkers for erythropoiesis stimulating agent abuse. To this end we will analyze miRNA levels in serum and plasma by miRNA microarrays and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).