In vitro transcription amplification and labeling methods contribute to the variability of gene expression profiling with DNA microarrays

Changqing Ma, Maureen Lyons-Weiler, Wenjing Liang, William LaFramboise, John R. Gilbertson, Michael J. Becich, Federico A. Monzon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of different amplification and labeling methods on DNA microarray expression results has not been previously delineated. To analyze the variation associated with widely accepted T7-based RNA amplification and labeling methods, aliquots of the Stratagene Human Universal Reference RNA were labeled using three eukaryotic target preparation methods followed by uniform replicate array hybridization (Affymetrix U95Av2). Method-dependent variability was observed in the yield and size distribution of labeled products, as well as in the gene expression results. A significant increase in short transcripts, when compared to unamplified mRNA, was observed in methods with long in vitro transcription reactions. Intramethod reproducibility showed correlation coefficients >0.99, whereas intermethod comparisons showed coefficients ranging from 0.94 to 0.98 and a nearly twofold increase in coefficient of variation. Fold amplification for each method positively correlated with the number of genes present. Our experiments uncovered two factors that introduced significant bias in gene expression data: the number of labeled nucleotides, which introduces sequence-dependent bias, and the length of the in vitro transcription reaction, which introduces transcript size-dependent bias. This study provides evidence that variability in expression data may be caused, in part, by differences in amplification and labeling protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-192
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Diagnostics
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

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