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Anal Biochem. 2005 Oct 1;345(1):102-9.

mRNA and 18S-RNA coapplication-reverse transcription for quantitative gene expression analysis.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular/Metabolic Disease Research, Schering-Plough Research Institute, Kenilworth, NJ 07033, USA.


Fluorescence-based reverse transcription real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-QPCR) is a highly sensitive method for the detection and quantitation of mRNA. To control and correct for sample variability, some common housekeeping genes such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), beta-actin, and ubiquitin are often used as endogenous standards. Other internal calibrators such as 18S-ribosomal RNA (18S-RNA) have also been used, but further methodological concerns arise given that ribosomal RNA lacks the 3' poly-A tail typically associated with messenger RNA. To take advantage of the constant expression levels of 18S-RNA and the precision of oligo-(dT) primed first-strand synthesis, we have developed a method that combines oligo-(dT) with an 18S-RNA-specific primer in the initial reverse transcription (RT) reaction. This strategy, termed coapplication reverse transcription (Co-RT), allows for the analysis of multiple target genes with the advantages of 18S-RNA normalization from a single RT reaction. In this article, we describe Co-RT and present tissue distribution and expression level analysis of several target genes using this method. Co-RT provides increased sensitivity and higher accuracy than do the standard random primed RT methods.

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