Feasibility of the salivary transcriptome as a novel biomarker in determining disease susceptibility

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Abstract

Background and Objective

The salivary transcriptome may present as a readily available and non-invasive source of potential biomarkers. The development of chronic periodontitis is determined by individual patient susceptibility; hence, the aim of this study was to determine the potential of the salivary transcriptome as a biomarker of disease susceptibility using chronic periodontitis as an example.

Material and Methods

Using an Oragene® RNA kit, the total RNA was purified from the saliva of 10 patients with chronic periodontitis and 10 patients without chronic periodontitis. The quantity and quality of the total RNA was determined, and a measure of gene expression via cDNA was undertaken using the Affymetrix microarray system. The microarray profiling result was further validated by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

Results

Spectrophotometric analysis showed the total RNA purified from each participant ranged from 0.92 μg/500 μL to 62.85 μg/500 μL. There was great variability in the quantity of total RNA obtained from the 2 groups in the study with a mean of 10.21 ± 12.71 μg/500 μL for the periodontitis group and 15.97 ± 23.47 μg/500 μL for the control group. Further the RNA purity (based on the A260/A280 ratio) for the majority of participants (9 periodontitis and 6 controls) were within the acceptable limits for downstream analysis (2.0 ± 0.1). The study samples, showed 2 distinct bands at 23S (3800 bp) and 16S (1500 bp) characteristic of bacterial rRNA. Preliminary microarray analysis was performed for 4 samples (P2, P6, H5 and H9). The percentage of genes present in each of the 4 samples was not consistent with about 1.8%-18.7% of genes being detected. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction confirmed that the total RNA purified from each sample was mainly bacterial RNA (Uni 16S) with minimal human mRNA.

Conclusion

This study showed that minimal amounts of human RNA were able to be isolated from the saliva of patients with periodontitis as well as controls. Further work is required to enhance the extraction process of human mRNA from saliva if the salivary transcriptome is to be used in determining individual patient susceptibility.

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