Exosomal tRF-Leu-AAG-001 derived from mast cell as a potential non-invasive diagnostic biomarker for endometriosis

BMC Womens Health. 2022 Jun 25;22(1):253. doi: 10.1186/s12905-022-01827-6.


Background: The diagnosis of endometriosis (EMs) is still based on laparoscopic observation. This study tries to verify whether exosomal tRNA-derived fragments (tRFs) in leucorrhea can be used as non-invasive diagnostic markers.

Methods: Endometrial tissues and leucorrhea were sampled from women hospitalized in Ningbo University Affiliated Hospital from January 2021 to July 2021 with (n = 26) and without endometriosis (n = 25). Exosomes were isolated from samples by differential centrifugation. The small RNA sequencing was performed to detect the exosomal tRNA halves (tiRNAs)&tRFs. RNA probe and immunofluorescence antibody were used to localize the origin of tRFs. From mast cell lines infected with tRF-Leu-AAG-001 siRNA, we observed the change in vascular capacity and expression of inflammatory factors. The specificity and sensitivity tRF were determined by receiver operating characteristic analyses.

Results: 63 up-regulated and 45 down-regulated tRFs&tiRNAs were identified in ectopic exosomes. We selected tRF-Leu-AAG-001 as a candidate marker through KEGG pathway enrichment and PCR verification. We found that mast cells highly expressed tRF-Leu-AAG-001 in ectopic foci by immunofluorescence staining. We used siRNA to silenced tRF-Leu-AAG-001 expression in luva, qPCR analysis showed IL-6, IL-10, IL-1β, and TNF-α were significantly decreased. Meanwhile, tRF-Leu-AAG-001 siRNA dramatically reduced the angiogenic ability of luva. Finally, we examined the expression of exosomal tRF-Leu-AAG-001 in the leucorrhea. It was found exosomal tRF-Leu-AAG-001 had high specificity and sensitivity for predicting the occurrence of ectopic disease.

Conclusions: Exosomal tRF-Leu-AAG-001 derived from mast cells in ectopic foci might promote inflammation and angiogenesis. Meanwhile, leucorrhea exosomal tRF-Leu-AAG-001 could be a potential diagnostic biomarker for endometriosis.

Keywords: Diagnostic biomarker; Endometriosis; Exosomes; Leucorrhea; Transfer RNA-derived fragment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endometriosis* / genetics
  • Exosomes* / genetics
  • Exosomes* / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mast Cells / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • RNA, Transfer / genetics
  • RNA, Transfer / metabolism


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • RNA, Transfer