Title: Salivaomics: Saliva Extracellular RNA (exRNA) & Saliva Proteome Wiki

The NIH Common Fund-initiated Extracellular RNA Communication Consortium (ERCC) has a mandate to study RNA circulating in the body outside of cells. It turns out that extracellular RNA (exRNA) is often functional, and can be used as a biomarker to diagnose disease and track its progression. The ERCC has characterized the RNA profile of a range of biofluids. Saliva is unique in having a large fraction of exogenous exRNA, coming not from remote organs and tissues, but from the oral microbiome.

Many researchers and clinicians are still unaware that RNA communication between cells occurs and can be leveraged into a diagnostic tool. In this symposium, we provide an overview of extracellular RNA and the consortium, highlighting the data and analysis software available in our exRNA Atlas. Importantly, we then present a use case showing how salivary exRNA can provide information about a systemic disease, in this instance differentiating sports players with concussion from those without. We highlight new discoveries about oral exRNA biology and explain how to tailor the analysis of RNA sequencing data from saliva to account for its high fraction of exogenous RNA.

Moving to another key aspect of Salivaomics, we introduce and demonstrate the NIDCR Human Salivary Proteome Wiki database, alerting the audience to the availability of this key resource for studying oral biology and pathology. In the ensuing discussion, we invite interested clinicians and basic scientists to strategize with us about how to integrate "big data" on both RNA and proteins to improve their research and practice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Provision of new knowledge in specific areas: -Participants in this symposium will gain an appreciation that RNA is functional in saliva in ways that we have only just begun to research and understand.
    ● RNA biomarkers in saliva have great potential for diagnosis and prognosis of both oral and systemic diseases.
    ● Participants will learn about the proteins in saliva, their functions, and potential use as biomarkers of disease.
  • Introduction to and/or mastery of specific skills and techniques
    ● Participants who already understand and perhaps study the role of RNA in saliva will be exposed to our data and analysis pipeline for characterizing salivary extracellular RNA.
    ● Participants will learn how to harness the knowledge base provided by the exRNA Atlas and Human Salivary Proteome Wiki databases for questions related to clinical and basic science.
  • Alteration in the habits of the learner
    ● The learner will be introduced to the usefulness of big data repositories for solving problems and questions related to oral health and disease.
Sponsoring Group/Network