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Circulating miRNAs and tissue iron overload in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major: novel predictors and follow-up guide

A Correction to this article was published on 06 October 2021

This article has been updated

Abstract

Tissue iron overload is a life-threatening scenario in children with transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major, miRNAs that are involved in iron hemostasis could serve as therapeutic targets for control of iron overload. We aimed to find out the association between three iron-related miRNAs “miR-let-7d, miR-122, and miR-200b” and excess iron in tissues, in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major patients. Circulating miRNA expressions are measured in peripheral blood (PB) samples using qPCR of transfusion-dependent (TDT) β-thalassemia patients (n = 140) and normalized to non-transfusion-dependent (NTDT) β-thalassemia (n = 45). Results revealed that plasma expression levels of miR-let-7d and miR-200b were significantly downregulated in TDT patients; however, miR-122 was upregulated. In terms of tissue iron load, aberrant expression of miRNAs was significantly associated with increased—iron accumulation in hepatic and cardiac tissues. We concluded that circulating miRNAs are strong candidates that associate iron hemostasis in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major patients. And by extension, targeting miR-let-7d, miR-122, and miR-200 might serve as novel sensitive, specific and non-invasive predictor biomarkers for cellular damage under condition of tissue iron excess.

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Availability of data and material

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable.

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Funding

The research is self-funded by the authors.

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Authors

Contributions

All authors contributed to the study conception and design. Material preparation, data collection, and analysis were performed by SAM & HF. The first draft of the manuscript was written by NE and all authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nashwa El-Khazragy.

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Ethics approval

The study protocol number FMASU 28115/2017 was approved by the research ethics committee of the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University. All participants were informed of the objectives of the study and signed informed-consent forms.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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El-Khazragy, N., Matbouly, S., Hanna, D.H. et al. Circulating miRNAs and tissue iron overload in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia major: novel predictors and follow-up guide. Ann Hematol 100, 2909–2917 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00277-021-04639-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00277-021-04639-0

Keywords

  • β-Thalassemia
  • Iron overload
  • Blood transfusion
  • Circulating miRNAs