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Cancer Cell Int. 2013 May 16;13(1):45. doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-13-45.

Validation of suitable endogenous control genes for quantitative PCR analysis of microRNA gene expression in a rat model of endometrial cancer.

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  • 1Systems Biology Research Centre, Tumor Biology, School of Life Sciences, Skovde, Sweden.



MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression by translational inhibition or mRNA cleavage. The discovery that abnormal expression of particular miRNAs contributes to human disease, including cancer, has spurred growing interest in analysing expression profiles of these molecules. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction is frequently used for quantification of miRNA expression due to its sensitivity and specificity. To minimize experimental error in this system an appropriate endogenous control gene must be chosen. An ideal endogenous control gene should be expressed at a constant level across all samples and its expression stability should be unaffected by the experimental procedure.


The expression and validation of candidate control genes (4.5S RNA(H) A, Y1, 4.5S RNA(H) B, snoRNA, U87 and U6) was examined in 21 rat cell lines to establish the most suitable endogenous control for miRNA analysis in a rat model of cancer. The stability of these genes was analysed using geNorm and NormFinder algorithms. U87 and snoRNA were identified as the most stable control genes, while Y1 was least stable.


This study identified the control gene that is most suitable for normalizing the miRNA expression data in rat. That reference gene will be useful when miRNAs expression are analyzed in order to find new miRNA markers for endometrial cancer in rat.

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