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Cross-platform analysis of global microRNA expression technologies

Carole L Yauk1*, Andrea Rowan-Carroll1, John DH Stead2 and Andrew Williams1

Author Affiliations

1 Environmental Health Sciences and Research Bureau, Health Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9, Canada

2 Institute of Neuroscience, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:330  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-330

Published: 26 May 2010



Although analysis of microRNAs (miRNAs) by DNA microarrays is gaining in popularity, these new technologies have not been adequately validated. We examined within and between platform reproducibility of four miRNA array technologies alongside TaqMan PCR arrays.


Two distinct pools of reference materials were selected in order to maximize differences in miRNA content. Filtering for miRNA that yielded signal above background revealed 54 miRNA probes (matched by sequence) across all platforms. Using this probeset as well as all probes that were present on an individual platform, within-platform analyses revealed Spearman correlations of >0.9 for most platforms. Comparing between platforms, rank analysis of the log ratios of the two reference pools also revealed high correlation (range 0.663-0.949). Spearman rank correlation and concordance correlation coefficients for miRNA arrays against TaqMan qRT-PCR arrays were similar for all of the technologies. Platform performances were similar to those of previous cross-platform exercises on mRNA and miRNA microarray technologies.


These data indicate that miRNA microarray platforms generated highly reproducible data and can be recommended for the study of changes in miRNA expression.