Objective: We wished to re-assess the relative stability of microRNAs (miRNAs) as compared with other RNA molecules, which has been confirmed in many contexts. When bound to Argonaute proteins, miRNAs are protected from degradation, even when released into the extracellular space in ribonucleoprotein complexes, and with or without the protection of membranes in extracellular vesicles. Purified miRNAs also appear to present less of a target for degradation than other RNAs. Although miRNAs are by no means immune to degradation, biological samples subjected to prolonged incubation at room temperature, multiple freeze/thaws, or collection in the presence of inhibitors like heparin, can typically be remediated or used directly for miRNA measurements. Results: Here, we provide additional confirmation of early, well validated findings on miRNA stability and detectability. Our data also suggest that inadequate depletion of platelets from plasma may explain the occasional report that freeze-thaw cycles can adversely affect plasma miRNA levels. Overall, the repeated observation of miRNA stability is again confirmed.
- Blood processing
- RNA isolation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)