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J Forensic Sci. 2012 Jul;57(4):1051-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2012.02086.x. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Determination of an effective housekeeping gene for the quantification of mRNA for forensic applications.

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Nuclear DNA Unit, FBI Laboratory Division, Quantico, VA 22135, USA.


The potential application of mRNA for the identification of biological fluids using molecular techniques has been a recent development in forensic serology. Constitutively expressed housekeeping genes can assess the amount of mRNA recovered from a sample, establish its suitability for downstream applications, and provide a reference point to corroborate the identity of the fluid. qPCR was utilized to compare the expression levels of housekeeping genes from forensic-like body fluid stains to establish the most appropriate assessment of human mRNA quantity prior to profiling. Although variability was observed between fluids and individuals, results indicated that beta-2 microglobulin exhibited the highest expression for all body fluids examined and across donors. A one-way analysis of variance was performed for housekeeping gene variability between donors (at the α, 0.05, significance level), and the results indicated significant differences for semen, vaginal secretions, and menstrual blood.

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