MiR-34a, miR-21 and miR-23a as potential biomarkers for coronary artery disease: a pilot microarray study and confirmation in a 32 patient cohort

Exp Mol Med. 2015 Feb 6;47(2):e138. doi: 10.1038/emm.2014.81.


The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) in apolipoprotein E (apoE) knockout mice (apoE(-/-)) and to validate the role of these miRNAs in human coronary artery disease (CAD). Pooled plasma from 10 apoE(-/-) mice and 10 healthy C57BL/6 (B6) mice was used to perform the microarray analysis. The results showed that miR-34a, miR-21, miR-23a, miR-30a and miR-106b were differentially expressed in apoE(-/-) mice, and these expression changes were confirmed by real-time quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. Then, miR-34a, miR-21, miR-23a, miR-30a and miR-106b were detected in the plasma of 32 patients with CAD and of 20 healthy controls. Only miR-34a, miR-21 and miR-23a were significantly differentially expressed in the plasma of CAD patients (all P<0.01). In conclusion, miR-34a, miR-21 and miR-23a were elevated in CAD patients, which means that these miRNAs might serve as biomarkers of CAD development and progression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Apolipoproteins E / deficiency
  • Biomarkers
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Artery Disease / genetics*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Biomarkers
  • MIRN21 microRNA, human
  • MIRN23a microRNA, human
  • MIRN34 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs