Optimization of small RNA library preparation protocol from human urinary exosomes

Sequencing of miRNAs isolated from exosomes has great potential to identify novel disease biomarkers, but exosomes have low amount of RNA, hindering adequate analysis and quantification. Here, researchers from the INCLIVA Biomedical Research Institute have assessed several steps in developing an optimized small RNA (sRNA) library preparation protocol for next-generation sequencing (NGS) miRNA analysis from urinary exosomes.

A total of 24 urinary exosome samples from donors were included in this study. RNA was extracted by column-based methods. The quality of extracted RNA was assessed by spectrophotometric quantification and Bioanalyzer software analysis. All libraries were prepared using the CleanTag small RNA library preparation protocol and the effect of our additional modifications on adapter-dimer presence, sequencing data and tagged small RNA library population was also analyzed.


A brief work-flow chart for optimized Small RNA Library Preparation. Comparison between the traditional method and our optimized Small RNA Library Preparation method from urinary exosomes, indicating the new additional steps (inside square)

The results show that good quality sequencing libraries can be prepared following our optimized small RNA library preparation protocol from urinary exosomes. When the size selection by gel purification step was included within the workflow, adapter-dimer was totally removed from cDNA libraries. Furthermore, the inclusion of this modification step within small RNA library protocol augmented the small RNA mapped reads, with an especially significant 37% increase in miRNA reads, and the gel purification step made no difference to the tagged miRNA population.

This study provides researchers with an optimized small RNA library preparation workflow for next generation sequencing based exosome-associated miRNA analysis that yields a high amount of miRNA mapped reads without skewing the tagged miRNA population significantly.

Olivares D, Perez-Hernandez J, Perez-Gil D, Chaves FJ, Redon J, Cortes R. (2020) Optimization of small RNA library preparation protocol from human urinary exosomes. J Transl Med 18(1):132. [article]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *