Granada scientists develop software for RNA analysis, key in multiple diseases and potential biomarkers

The TEC-16 Multidisciplinary Group of Advanced Therapies: Differentiation, Regeneration and Cancer of the Biosanitary Research Institute of Granada (ibs.GRANADA), which includes researchers from the Faculty of Science and Medicine of the University of Granada, in collaboration with various groups The Netherlands and Norway released the latest version of the sRNAbench software. Present in more than 200 scientific publications, it is one of the leading programs in the analysis of massive microRNA sequencing data.

MicroRNAs or miRNAs are small RNAs that are very important for the regulation of gene expression and cellular behavior. These molecules are present both inside cells and in different biofluids such as blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, etc. They are usually released freely from cells or inside extracellular vesicles. Its deregulation has been associated with different types of cancers and autoimmune diseases. For this reason, they have great potential as biomarkers of these pathologies, and in recent years the number of sequencing of these molecules has increased considerably.

In this latest version of the sRNAbench software developed by ibs.GRANADA and the University of Granada, and recently published in Nucleic acid research, has been optimized to be easy to use by inexperienced users, as well as to allow the simultaneous analysis of a large number of samples. This should reach a greater number of researchers.

In this study carried out from the ibs.GRANADA, an example of application with patients of bronchiectasis. This disease, characterized by an abnormal and irreversible dilation of the bronchial tree, can be aggravated during an infection by the bacterium Pseudomonas aureginosa. Thanks to the new features integrated into this new version of sRNAbench, it is possible to detect the presence of this bacterium in samples from infected patients who have presented symptoms, even with a negative culture.

Moreover, as miRNAs can also be released inside vesicles in body fluids, in another study conducted by researchers from the area of ​​advanced therapies and biomedical technologies of ibs.GRANADA, for which this software called sRNAbench was used, they linked the presence of certain miRNAs associated with Hodgkin’s lymphoma vesicles, detected in patients using diagnostic imaging techniques such as PDF-PET.

The development of this new version of the software by these scientists from Granada facilitates the work of all researchers in the field of miRNAs, an area with application to many biomedical aspects and with great potential for clinical translation.

The work was funded by the European project ELBA: Towards widespread clinical application of blood diagnostics tolos, the research project of excellence ‘Implementation of a novel platform to monitor tumor heterogeneity as a critical determinant for individualized diagnostic and therapeutic outcome‘ (PIE16/00045), funded by the Institute of Health Carlos III and by the Doctors Galera and Requena Chair in Cancer Stem Cell Research at the University of Granada.

About the research group

The ‘Advanced therapies: differentiation, regeneration and cancer’ research group at ibs.GRANADA, led by Juan Antonio Marchal Corralesfocuses its research on two main areas: regenerative medicine and experimental oncology, from a translational and interdisciplinary perspective, with an application in the diagnosis and therapeutic use for the benefit of the health of patients with high prevalence diseases, such as as degenerative diseases and cancer.

This multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary orientation is based on the use of knowledge in nanotechnology and nanomedicine to meet these objectives. Some of its lines of research are the therapeutic application of adult and progenitor stem cells in pathologies, 3D bio-printing and the development of bio-inks and the generation of natural and synthetic biomaterials with application in prevalent pathologies, the development preclinical models for new treatments useful in cancer medicine and regenerative cancer, cancer gene therapy: suicide genes and CAR-T systems for solid tumors and the use of chimeric cytokines in cell differentiation.

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