MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs of approximately 18 to 25 nucleotides in length that negatively regulate gene expression via either the degradation or translational inhibition of their target mRNAs. Because miRNAs are essential for the regulation of critical physiological processes as well as a variety of pathological events, they have emerged as a novel class of molecular diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic agents or targets. Accordingly, the need for novel methods for the quantification of miRNA has increased due to interest in their clinical implications. Currently, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) is considered the most robust technology for nucleic acid quantification. Different tools for miRNA quantification by using qPCR are now commercially available, but only relative quantification strategies have been reported. This situation may be partly due to the difficulty in obtaining an appropriate molecule with which to establish an miRNA calibration range. Here, we describe a rapid and convenient strategy for the development of a calibrator, which enables the absolute quantification of miRNAs by using qPCR and allows the cloning of a synthetic sequence of interest instead of a PCR product into a plasmid.
Copyright © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.