Systematic review and meta-analysis of dysregulated microRNAs derived from liquid biopsies as biomarkers for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Hemerson Casado Gama, Mariana A. Amorós, Mykaella Andrade de Araújo, Congzhou M. Sha, Mirella P.S. Vieira, Rayssa G.D. Torres, Gabriela F. Souza, Janaína A. Junkes, Nikolay V. Dokholyan, Daniel Leite Góes Gitaí, Marcelo Duzzioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The discovery of disease-specific biomarkers, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), holds the potential to transform the landscape of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) by facilitating timely diagnosis, monitoring treatment response, and accelerating drug discovery. Such advancement could ultimately improve the quality of life and survival rates for ALS patients. Despite more than a decade of research, no miRNA biomarker candidate has been translated into clinical practice. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantitatively synthesize data from original studies that analyzed miRNA expression from liquid biopsies via PCR and compared them to healthy controls. Our analysis encompasses 807 miRNA observations from 31 studies, stratified according to their source tissue. We identified consistently dysregulated miRNAs in serum (hsa-miR-3665, -4530, -4745–5p, −206); blood (hsa-miR-338–3p, -183–5p); cerebrospinal fluid (hsa-miR-34a-3p); plasma (hsa-miR-206); and neural-enriched extracellular vesicles from plasma (hsa-miR-146a-5p, −151a-5p, −10b-5p, −29b-3p, and −4454). The meta-analyses provided further support for the upregulation of hsa-miR-206, hsa-miR-338–3p, hsa-miR-146a-5p and hsa-miR-151a-5p, and downregulation of hsa-miR-183–5p, hsa-miR-10b-5p, hsa-miR-29b-3p, and hsa-miR-4454 as consistent indicators of ALS across independent studies. Our findings provide valuable insights into the current understanding of miRNAs' dysregulated expression in ALS patients and on the researchers’ choices of methodology. This work contributes to the ongoing efforts towards discovering disease-specific biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-535
Number of pages13
JournalNon-coding RNA Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry, medical

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