Erythrocyte miRNA 144 and miRNA 451 as Cell Aging Biomarkers in African American Adults

Ibrahim Jafri1
, Ghadi Alsharif1
, Gail Nun-lee Bland1
, Kanwal K. Gambhir2, *

1 Howard University College of Medicine, Genetics and Human Genetics, Washington DC 20059, United States
2 Department of Medicine, Molecular Endocrinology Lab Division Endocrinology-Metabolism, Washington DC 20059, United States

© 2019 Jafri et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Medicine, Molecular Endocrinology Lab Division Endocrinology-Metabolism, Washington DC 20059; Tel: +2028651398; E-mail:



MicroRNAs (miRNA) are novel critical regulators of cell proliferation and human disease, including diabetes mellitus and cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of circulating erythrocytes (E) miRNA-144 and miRNA-451 expression in African Americans Adults (AAA) as a biomarker of cell aging.


The blood samples were collected from healthy controls [n=9] following an 8-12 hours fast. Erythrocytes were purified twice by Boyum gradient. Erythrocytes were further sub-fractionated into young (y) (1.07-1.09 g/ml), mid (m) (1.09- 1.11 g/ml), and old (o) (1.11-1.12 g/ml) age cells by using discontinuous Percoll gradient (35%, 40%, 45%, 50%, 55%, 65%, 80%, and 100%) and total RNA extracted. MiRNA-144 and miRNA-451 were quantified in y, m, and o age E sub-fractions by qRT-PCR.


MiRNA-451 expression was 82210.8271, 130922.476, and 149554.364 in y, m, and o cells, respectively. MiRNA-144 expression in y cells was 18.6641092, m cells was 32.4413621, and o cells was 57.8118394 These results showed that o cells expressed both miRNA-144 and miRNA-451 more than that of m, and y cells.


The findings of this study showed that miRNAs expression differ in sub-fractionated erythrocytes. This study suggests that miRNA-144 and miRNA-451 have the potential to be used as biomarkers of RBC aging.

Keywords: Red blood cell, Cell aging, MicroRNA, African American adults, Erythrocytes, Proliferation, Biomarkers of cell aging.