Splicing factor transcript abundance in saliva as a diagnostic tool for breast cancer

Mercedes Bentata, Guy Morgenstern, Yuval Nevo, Gillian Kay, Avital Granit Mizrahi, Mark Temper, Ofra Maimon, Liza Monas, Reham Basheer, Asa Ben-Hur, Tamar Peretz, Maayan Salton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women above 60 years in the US. Screening mammography is recommended for women above 50 years; however, 22% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women below this age. We set out to develop a test based on the detection of cell-free RNA from saliva. To this end, we sequenced RNA from a pool of ten women. The 1254 transcripts identified were enriched for genes with an annotation of alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Pre-mRNA splicing is a tightly regulated process and its misregulation in cancer cells promotes the formation of cancer-driving isoforms. For these reasons, we chose to focus on splicing factors as biomarkers for the early detection of breast cancer. We found that the level of the splicing factors is unique to each woman and consistent in the same woman at different time points. Next, we extracted RNA from 36 healthy subjects and 31 breast cancer patients. Recording the mRNA level of seven splicing factors in these samples demonstrated that the combination of all these factors is different in the two groups (p value = 0.005). Our results demonstrate a differential abundance of splicing factor mRNA in the saliva of breast cancer patients.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number880
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Breast cancer
  • Diagnosis
  • Saliva
  • Splicing factors


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