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Age-related changes in relative expression stability of commonly used housekeeping genes in selected porcine tissues

Uddin, M.J., Çınar, M.U., Tesfaye, D., Looft, C., Tholen, E. and Schellander, K. (2011) Age-related changes in relative expression stability of commonly used housekeeping genes in selected porcine tissues. BMC Research Notes, 4 (1). Art. 441.

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Gene expression analysis using real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) is increasingly important in biological research due to the high-throughput and accuracy of qRT-PCR. For accurate and reliable gene expression analysis, normalization of gene expression data against housekeeping genes or internal control genes is required. The stability of reference genes has a tremendous effect on the results of relative quantification of gene expression by qRT-PCR. The expression stability of reference genes could vary according to tissues, age of individuals and experimental conditions. In the pig however, very little information is available on the expression stability of reference genes. The aim of this research was therefore to develop a new set of reference genes which can be used for normalization of mRNA expression data of genes expressed in varieties of porcine tissues at different ages.


The mRNA expression stability of nine commonly used reference genes (B2M, BLM, GAPDH, HPRT1, PPIA, RPL4, SDHA, TBP and YWHAZ) was determined in varieties of tissues collected from newborn, young and adult pigs. geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper software were used to rank the genes according to their stability. geNorm software revealed that RPL4, PPIA and YWHAZ showed high stability in newborn and adult pigs, while B2M, YWHAZ and SDHA showed high stability in young pigs. In all cases, GAPDH showed the least stability in geNorm. NormFinder revealed that TBP was the most stable gene in newborn and young pigs, while PPIA was most stable in adult pigs. Moreover, geNorm software suggested that the geometric mean of three most stable gene would be the suitable combination for accurate normalization of gene expression study.


Although, there was discrepancy in the ranking order of reference genes obtained by different analysing software methods, the geometric mean of the RPL4, PPIA and YWHAZ seems to be the most appropriate combination of housekeeping genes for accurate normalization of gene expression data in different porcine tissues at different ages.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: BioMed Central
Copyright: © 2011 Schellander et al
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