Evaluation of endogenous control genes for gene expression studies across multiple tissues and in the specific sets of fat- and muscle-type samples of the pig.

Abstract

To normalize a set of quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR) data, it is essential to determine an optimal number/set of housekeeping genes, as the abundance of housekeeping genes can vary across tissues or cells during different developmental stages, or even under certain environmental conditions. In this study, of the 20 commonly used endogenous control genes, 13, 18 and 17 genes exhibited credible stability in 56 different tissues, 10 types of adipose tissue and five types of muscle tissue, respectively. Our analysis clearly showed that three optimal housekeeping genes are adequate for an accurate normalization, which correlated well with the theoretical optimal number (r ≥ 0.94). In terms of economical and experimental feasibility, we recommend the use of the three most stable housekeeping genes for calculating the normalization factor. Based on our results, the three most stable housekeeping genes in all analysed samples (TOP2B, HSPCB and YWHAZ) are recommended for accurate normalization of q-PCR data. We also suggest that two different sets of housekeeping genes are appropriate for 10 types of adipose tissue (the HSPCB, ALDOA and GAPDH genes) and five types of muscle tissue (the TOP2B, HSPCB and YWHAZ genes), respectively. Our report will serve as a valuable reference for other studies aimed at measuring tissue-specific mRNA abundance in porcine samples.

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