Two approaches for estimating the lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) of microRNA levels assayed as exploratory biomarkers by RT-qPCR

  • Publication Date :
  • Publication Type : Journal Article
  • Author(s) : Wolfinger RD, Beedanagari S, Boitier E, Chen T, Couttet P, Ellinger-Ziegelbauer H, Guillemain G, Mariet C, Mouritzen P, O'Lone R, Pine PS, Sharapova T, Yan J, Yuen PS, Thompson KL
  • Journal Name : BMC Biotechnology

Circulating microRNAs are undergoing exploratory use as safety biomarkers in drug development. Reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is one common approach used to quantitate levels of microRNAs in samples that includes the use of a standard curve of calibrators fit to a regression model. Guidelines are needed for setting assay quantitation thresholds that are appropriate for this method and to biomarker pre-validation. In this report, we develop two workflows for determining a lower limit of quantitation (LLOQ) for RT-qPCR assays of microRNAs in exploratory studies. One workflow is based on an error threshold calculated by a logistic model of the calibration curve data. The second workflow is based on a threshold set by the sample blank, which is the no template control for RT-qPCR. The two workflows are used to set lower thresholds of reportable microRNA levels for an example dataset in which miR-208a levels in biofluids are quantitated in a cardiac injury model. LLOQ thresholds set by either workflow are effective in filtering out microRNA values with large uncertainty estimates. Click here to see the article!

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