Thorac cardiovasc Surg
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1604083
Original Basic Science
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Characterization of micro-RNA Profile in the Blood of Patients with Marfan's Syndrome

Masood Abu-Halima1, Nicole Ludwig1, Tanja Rädle-Hurst2, Andreas Keller3, Lars Motsch2, Ina Marsollek2, Mohammed Abd El Rahman2, Hashim Abdul-Khaliq2, *, Eckart Meese1, *
  • 1Department of Human Genetics, Saarland University, Homburg/Saar, Germany
  • 2Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Saarland University Medical Center, Homburg/Saar, Germany
  • 3Chair for Clinical Bioinformatics, Saarland University, Saarbruecken, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

02 March 2017

29 May 2017

Publication Date:
05 July 2017 (eFirst)


Background Marfan's syndrome (MFS) is an autosomal dominant inheritance disorder with a 1/5,000 live-birth prevalence. It is characterized by a wide range of clinical manifestations with more than 3,000 mutations identified in the FBN1 gene. In this study, we aimed to determine if specific patterns of circulating micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are associated with MFS-associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Methods Microarray-based miRNA profiling was performed on blood samples of 12 MFS patients, and 12 healthy volunteers (HVs) controls and the differences in miRNA abundance between the two groups were validated using independent cohorts of 22 MFS and of 22 HV controls by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Enrichment analyses of altered miRNA abundance were predicted using bioinformatics tools.

Results Altered miRNA abundance levels were determined between MFS (n = 34) and HVs (n = 34). In a screening phase, we analyzed 12 patients with MFS and 12 HVs by miRNA microarray. We found 198 miRNAs that were significantly altered in MFS patients as compared with HVs, including 16 miRNAs with a more than 1.5-fold change. Out of these 16 miRNAs, 10 showed a decreased abundance and 6 showed an increased abundance. In the validation phase, we analyzed independent cohorts of 22 MFS and of 22 HV controls by RT-qPCR. We confirmed the direction of abundance changes and the significance of different abundances between MFS patients and HVs for four miRNAs, namely, miR-362–5p, miR-339–3p, miR-340–5p, and miR-210–3p. Only the miR-150–5p showed a significant correlation with mitral valve prolapse (p = 0.010). The predicted targets for the validated miRNAs were associated with signal transduction, tissue remodeling, and cellular interaction pathways.

Conclusion The altered abundance level of different miRNAs in whole blood of MFS patients lays the ground to the development of novel diagnostic approaches with altered miRNAs levels associated with MFS with manifestations associated with cardiovascular diseases.

Authors' Contributions

• M.A. performed experimental work, particularly the miRNA array experiment, RT-qPCR validation, and wrote the article.

• N.L. helped in RT-qPCR validation experiments and edited the article.

• L.M. helped in experimental work and samples collection.

• I.M. isolated RNA and assessed the quality and quantity of RNA.

• G.G. helped in patients' diagnosis and samples collection.

• T.R.H. helped in patients' diagnosis and samples collection.

• M.A.R. helped in patients' diagnosis and samples collection.

• A.K. performed bioinformatics analysis.

• E.M. designed the study, coordinated the molecular biology experiment, and wrote/edited the article.

• H.A.K. designed the study, diagnosed patients, collected the samples, and edited the article.

* Both the authors contributed equally to this work.