A novel cell membrane-associated RNA extraction method

Cell membrane-associated RNA (mem-RNA) has been demonstrated to be cell-specific and disease-related and are considered as potential biomarkers for disease diagnostics, drug delivery, and cell screening. However, there is still a lack of methods specifically designed to extract mem-RNA from cells, limiting the discovery and applications of mem-RNA. Researchers from the Southern University of Science and Technology have developed the first all-in-one solution for high-purity mem-RNA isolation based on two types of magnetic nanoparticles, named MREMB (Membrane-associated RNA Extraction based on Magnetic Beads), which achieved ten times enrichment of cell membrane components and over 90% recovery rate of RNA extraction. To demonstrate MREMB’s potential in clinical research, the researchers extracted and sequenced mem-RNA of typical breast cancer MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and SKBR-3 cell lines and non-neoplastic breast epithelial cell MCF-10A. Compared to total RNA, sequencing results revealed that membrane/secreted protein-encoding mRNAs and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were enriched in the mem-RNA, some of which were significantly overexpressed in the three cancer cell lines, including extracellular matrix-related genes COL5A1 and lncRNA TALAM1. The results indicated that MREMB could enrich membrane/secreted protein-coding RNA and amplify the expression differences of related RNAs between cancer and non-neoplastic cells, promising for cancer biomarker discovery.

Lv J, Liu Y, Tang J, Xiao H, Hu R, Wang G, Niu D, Shao PL, Yang J, Jin Z, Xu Z, Zhang B. (2023) A Novel Cell Membrane-Associated RNA Extraction Method and Its Application in the Discovery of Breast Cancer Markers. Anal Chem [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]

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