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Int J Androl. 2007 Aug;30(4):316-26; discussion 326-7. Epub 2007 Jun 15.

Analysis of gene expression in normal and neoplastic human testis: new roles of RNA.

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  • 1Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Large-scale methods for analysing gene expression, such as microarrays, have yielded a wealth of information about gene expression at the mRNA level. However, expression of alternative transcripts, together with the presence of a wide range of largely undescribed RNA transcripts combined with regulation from the RNA interference pathway, may cause misinterpretations when trying to base conclusions from expression data derived from studies at the mRNA level. With HLXB9, PRM1, DICER and E2F1 as examples, we here show a range of situations that can occur when investigating gene expression, and give recommendations for the complementary methods that can verify gene expression data from large-scale studies, as well as give new information regarding the regulation of specific genes. Especially, we show that the absence of a protein despite high expression of the corresponding mRNA can be caused by expression of miRNAs targeting the mRNA. Additionally, we show through cloning the presence of both known and new miRNAs in the testis emphasizing the necessity for following up mRNA expression data by investigating expression at the protein level.

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