Need for miRNA biomarkers of T1D
Molecular biomarkers of Type 1 diabetes (T1D)
Over the past several years, our lab group has focussed on understanding the potential of ncRNAs, mainly microRNAs associated with islet beta cell death and Type 1 diabetes. Research funded through the Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to Prof. Hardikar and JDRF Australia funding over the past several years has helped in development of this program. We aim to (i) validate a microRNA signature associated with T1D in ~1000 Australians without or with T1D; (ii) assess the differences in circulating (plasma) miRNAs in geogrophically distinct and ethnically diverse individuals without and with T1D; (iii) compare the potential of these miRNAs and insulin cfDNA to stratify individuals without and with T1D; (iv) use machine-learning algorithms to predict future diabetes (v) identify the potential of our molecular biomarkers to test treatment efficacies of drugs/interventions aimed to retard the death of insulin-producing cells in individuals recently diagnosed, or at risk of T1D. Our previous studies supported by the ARC and the JDRF Australia, have identified key microRNA signatures; the ARC Future Fellowship funding led to identification of human islet-enriched microRNAs, while the JDRF CRN P&F grant led to identification of circulating microRNAs that are differentially expressed in individuals with T1D relative to age, gender and smoking-matched Controls. We have generated a custom panel of microRNAs that contains a set of our key candidates, stage-specific spike-in controls, positive control, negative control, duplicate/positional control and repeat control microRNAs. Robotics workflows ensure inter-assay CVs of <5% for the isolation and ~5-7% for inter-batch repeats.