Author(s): Devonshire AS, Baradez MO, Morley G, Marshall D, Foy CA
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Abstract High-throughput quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) approaches enable profiling of multiple genes in single cells, bringing new insights to complex biological processes and offering opportunities for single cell-based monitoring of cancer cells and stem cell-based therapies. However, workflows with well-defined sources of variation are required for clinical diagnostics and testing of tissue-engineered products. In a study of neural stem cell lines, we investigated the performance of lysis, reverse transcription (RT), preamplification (PA), and nanofluidic qPCR steps at the single cell level in terms of efficiency, precision, and limit of detection. We compared protocols using a separate lysis buffer with cell capture directly in RT-PA reagent. The two methods were found to have similar lysis efficiencies, whereas the direct RT-PA approach showed improved precision. Digital PCR was used to relate preamplified template copy numbers to Cq values and reveal where low-quality signals may affect the analysis. We investigated the impact of calibration and data normalization strategies as a means of minimizing the impact of inter-experimental variation on gene expression values and found that both approaches can improve data comparability. This study provides validation and guidance for the application of high-throughput qPCR workflows for gene expression profiling of single cells. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Anal Biochem
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics