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Circulating microRNA-144-3p and miR-762 are novel biomarkers of Graves’ disease

  • Qiuming Yao
  • Xuan Wang
  • Weiwei He
  • Zhenyu Song
  • Bin Wang
  • Jinan ZhangEmail author
  • Qiu QinEmail author
Original Article



Recently, it has been confirmed that circulating miRNAs play an important role in disease pathogenesis and can be biomarkers of many autoimmune diseases. However, the knowledge about circulating miRNAs in Graves’ disease (GD) is very limited. In this study, we aimed to identify circulating miRNAs as potential biomarkers of GD.


We recruited 68 participants who met the criteria for GD and healthy controls. The expression profile of miRNAs in plasma was detected using microarrays. We found five interesting miRNAs were differentially expressed between GD and control group and futher validated their relative expression by quantitative real-time PCR. According to their putative target genes predicted by the TargetScan database, we also performed Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes (KEGG) analyses to predict their potential functions and related pathways.


Microarray data showed that five miRNAs were differentially expressed in GD and control plasma samples. Among them, miR-16-1-3p, miR-122-5p, miR-221-3p, and miR-762 were upregulated in GD (P < 0.001). In validation stage, we found miR-144-3p was significantly decreased and miR-762 was markedly upregulated in GD plasma (P < 0.01). In addition, miR-762 expression was positively associated with levels of FT3 (r = 0.307, P = 0.038) as well as TRAb (r = 0.302, P = 0.042). The receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that both miR-144-3p and miR-762 displayed good sensitivity and specificity in discriminating the GD patients from the rest of subjects with the area under the ROC curve (AUC) of 0.761 (P = 0.001, 95% CI = 0.648–0.875) and 0.737 (P = 0.001, 95% CI = 0.618–0.857), respectively. Combination of miR-144-3p and miR-762 could better discriminate GD patients from healthy controls with AUC of 0.861 (P < 0.001, 95% CI = 0.775–0.947).


We first demonstrated that aberrant levels of plasmic miR-144-3p and miR-762 were associated with GD, which may be biomarkers for GD diagnosis.


Graves’ disease MicroRNA Plasma Biomarker 



The authors would like to thank all of the participants who took part in the studies.


This project was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos 81670722 and 81873636), and Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (18ZR1433800).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval and consent to participate

This work was approved by the Ethics Committee of Jinshan Hospital, Fudan University. Written informed consents were obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyJinshan Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyAffiliated Hospital of Yanan UniversityShanxiChina
  3. 3.Department of UrologyJinshan Hospital of Fudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  4. 4.Department of EndocrinologyShanghai University of Medicine & Health Sciences Affiliated Zhoupu HospitalShanghaiChina

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