To detect miRNA-derived biomarkers a whole-RNA purification from the sample has to be performed. For an identification of yet unknown miRNAs it is required to clone and sequence the purified sRNAs. In most cases miRNAs which are present in a sample at low concentrations are further depleted during the purification steps or even get lost, which renders in the results of the analysis non-representative and increases the risk to overlook potential biomarkers.
The present invention is based on the finding, that the plant-viral protein ’Helper component proteinase’ (HC-Pro) can be used for a binding of sRNAs including miRNAs. Thus, HC-Pro can be used in order to enrich and to isolate sRNAs from samples. In addition a cupin protein was identified which clearly improves the binding of HC-Pro for sRNAs.
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