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Nucleic Acids Res. 2012 Oct;40(18):e144. doi: 10.1093/nar/gks588. Epub 2012 Jun 25.

Quantification of RNA integrity and its use for measurement of transcript number.

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1
Department of Haematology and Genetic Pathology, Flinders University and Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia, Australia 5042.

Abstract

RNA degradation can distort or prevent measurement of RNA transcripts. A mathematical model for degradation was constructed, based on random RNA damage and exponential polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification. Degradation, measured as the number of lesions/base, can be quantified by amplifying several sequences of a reference gene, calculating the regression of C(t) on amplicon length and determining the slope. Reverse transcriptase-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) data can then be corrected for degradation using lesions/base, amplicon length(s) and the relevant equation obtained from the model. Several predictions of the model were confirmed experimentally; degradation in a sample quantified using the model correlated with degradation quantified using an additional control sample and the ΔΔCt method and application of the model corrected erroneous results for relative quantification resulting from degradation and differences in amplicon length. Compared with RIN, the method was quantitative, simpler, more sensitive and spanned a wider range of RNA damage. The method can use either random or specifically primed complementary DNA and it enables relative and absolute quantification of RNA to be corrected for degradation. The model and method should be applicable to many situations in which RNA is quantified, including quantification of RNA by methods other than nucleic acid amplification.

PMID:
22735698
PMCID:
PMC3467039
DOI:
10.1093/nar/gks588
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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