Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes in R&D at QIAGEN Digital Insights? Our team of expert scientists is busy collaborating with researchers worldwide. They conduct Sample to Insight studies using QIAGEN’s sample preparation kits and bioinformatics software to elaborate proof of concept studies and contribute to active research efforts. This helps us bring extra value to our customers by helping them apply our solutions to answer their research questions. Here we share two recent research studies comparing molecular signaling in sepsis and COVID-19 to discover new biomarkers.
Progranulin signaling in sepsis, community‑acquired bacterial pneumonia and COVID‑19: A comparative, observational study
Researchers from multiple institutions in Germany collaborated with QIAGEN Digital Insights scientists Dr. Jean-Noël Billaud, Dr. Joseph Pearson and Dr. Nirav Amin in this recent observational study by Brandes et al. The team studied the functional role of the pleiotropic growth factor progranulin in cohorts of sepsis patient cases and compared progranulin plasma levels among sepsis, systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), severe localized infections, community-acquired bacterial pneumonia and COVID-19.
They used QIAGEN Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) to analyze differential expression data from blood taken from septic-shock patient cases and healthy controls and constructed molecular response networks for progranulin. The team used QIAGEN OmicSoft Suite to process and analyze the mRNA sequencing data from the case vs. control groups and sent the results directly to QIAGEN IPA for further biological analysis. Using IPA, the team identified miRNA and mRNA regulation and networks resulting from their high-throughput miRNA/mRNA expression data.
The team found statistically significant molecular differences in the plasma among these disorders. They discovered important relationships between disease severity and progranulin concentrations, identifying the important role of progranulin signaling in the early antimicrobial response in sepsis. This study provides evidence for potentially using progranulin as a biomarker for sepsis and pneumonia, which could be developed to differentiate between these disorders.
This study demonstrates a fantastic example of Sample to Insight workflow implementation using QIAGEN solutions. Prior to molecular analysis of NGS data from mRNA sequencing, QIAGEN’s PAXgene blood miRNA Kit was used for extraction of cellular RNA from whole blood. QIAGEN’s QuantiTect Reverse Transcription Kit was then used for reverse transcription of the isolated mRNA and QIAGEN’s miRCURY LNA SYBR Green PCR Kit was used to set up a real-time PCR reaction prior to amplification using QIAGEN’s Rotor-Gene Q thermal cycler.
Well done to the QIAGEN Digital Insights team and their collaborators on their impactful publication!
Differences in molecular signaling networks underly the clinical distinction between COVID-19 ARDS and the sepsis-induced ARDS phenotypes
Dr. Florian Brandes of the University Hospital, Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, received a prestigious research prize from a major German conference on Intensive Care Medicine for his abstract on molecular signaling networks in different acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) phenotypes. Dr. Jean-Noël Billaud, Senior Principal Scientist for QIAGEN Digital Insights, collaborated on the study. The team researched differentially and significantly regulated miRNA and target mRNA from COVID-19-induced ARDS patient cases, bacterial-induced sepsis-ARDS patient cases and 20 healthy controls. They used QIAGEN IPA to construct signaling networks, comparing the three groups. Their analyses conclude that COVID-ARDS is a unique clinical entity with specific molecular signaling cascades that are unique from sepsis-induced ARDS. Their study suggests that novel biomarkers and different therapeutic approaches should be used from those used in sepsis-ARDS.
Congratulations to our collaborator, Dr. Brandes, on receiving this prestigious award.