Background: A 2017 study reported that "Plant miRNAs found in human circulating system provide evidences of cross kingdom RNAi". Analysis of two human blood plasma sequencing datasets was said to provide evidence for uptake of plant miRNAs into human plasma. The results were also purportedly inconsistent with contamination. Methods: Sequences from public datasets and miRNA databases were compared with results downloaded from the website of the reporting journal. Results: Only one putative plant miRNA ('peu-MIR2910) mapped consistently above background, and this sequence is found with 100% identity in a human rRNA. Several other rarer but consistently mapped putative plant miRNAs also have 100% or near 100% matches to human transcripts or genomic sequences, and some do not appear to map to plant genomes at all. Conclusions: Reanalysis of public data suggests that dietary plant xenomiR uptake is not supported, but instead confirms previous findings that detection of rare plant miRNAs in mammalian sequencing datasets is artifactual. Some putative plant miRNAs, including MIR2910 and MIR2911, may represent human sequence contamination or other artifacts in plant studies, emphasizing the need for rigorous controls and data filtering strategies when assessing possible xenomiRNAs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)