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Exp Ther Med. 2010 May;1(3):419-423. Epub 2010 May 1.

Tubulin α-6 chain is a stably expressed reference gene in archival samples of normal oral tissue and oral squamous cell carcinoma.

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Department of Medical Biosciences/Pathology, Umeå University, SE-901 85 Umeå;


One of the most critical factors in gene expression studies using quantitative real-time PCR is the choice of reference gene. Many of the commonly used reference genes have been shown to vary during a number of biological processes as well as between tissues. It is therefore important to always verify the stability of the gene of choice for all new tissues and experimental conditions. Here, we used two publicly available computer software packages (GeNorm and NormFinder) to investigate the stability of eight potential reference genes in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples from normal oral tissue of different origin as well as from oral squamous cell carcinomas. Both programs found the tubulin α-6 chain (TUBA6) and ribosomal protein S13 (RPS13) to have the most stable expression between malignant and non-malignant tissue. NormFinder also found TUBA6 to be the most stable gene when samples were grouped according to tissue origin. FFPE samples constitute a large research resource, which considerably increases the number of samples available for analysis, leading to more reliable conclusions. Verification of a proper reference gene in oral FFPE tissue is therefore of great importance for future studies.

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