Gene expression analysis is most simply described as the study of the way genes are transcribed to synthesize functional gene products — functional RNA species or protein products. The study of gene regulation provides insights into normal cellular processes, such as differentiation, and abnormal or pathological processes.
Related Topics: Gene Cloning and Analysis, Mutational Analysis, Epigenetics and Chromatin Structure, and Nucleic Acid Analysis
Gene expression workflow.
Researchers may perform gene expression analysis at any one of several different levels at which gene expression is regulated: transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational, and post-translationalprotein modification.
Transcription, the process of creating a complementary RNA copy of a DNA sequence, can be regulated in a variety of ways. Transcriptional regulation processes are the most commonly studied and manipulated in typical gene expression analysis experiments.
The binding of regulatory proteins to DNA binding sites is the most direct method by which transcription is naturally modulated. Alternatively, regulatory processes can also interact with the transcriptional machinery of a cell. More recently, the influence of epigenetic regulation, such as the effect of variable DNA methylation on gene expression, has been uncovered as a powerful tool for gene expression profiling. Varying degrees of methylation are known to affect chromatin folding and strongly affect accessibility of genes to active transcription.
Following transcription, eukaryotic RNA is typically spliced to remove noncoding intron sequences and capped with a poly(A) tail. At this post-transcriptional level, RNA stability has a significant effect on functional gene expression, that is, the production of functional protein. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) consists of double-stranded nucleic acid molecules that are participants in the RNA interference pathway, in which the expression of specific genes is modulated (typically by decreasing activity). Precisely how this modulation is accomplished is not yet fully understood. A growing field of gene expression analysis is in the area of microRNAs (miRNAs), short RNA molecules that also act as eukaryotic post-transcriptional regulators and gene silencing agents.
Back to Top
Researchers studying gene expression employ a wide variety of molecular biology techniques and experimental methods. Gene expression analysis studies can be broadly divided into four areas: RNA expression, promoter analysis, protein expression, and post-translational modification.
Bustin SA et al. (2009). The MIQE guidelines: Minimum information for publication of quantitative real-time PCR experiments. Clin Chem 55, 611–622. PMID: 19246619
Lefever S et al. (2009). RDML: Structured language and reporting guidelines for real-time quantitative PCR data. Nucleic Acids Res 37, 2065–2069. PMID: 19223324
Vandesompele J et al. (2002). Accurate normalization of real-time quantitative RT-PCR data by geometric averaging of multiple internal control genes. Genome Biol 3, research0034.1. PMID: 12184808
Guénin S et al. (2009). Normalization of qRT-PCR data: The necessity of adopting a systematic, experimental conditions-specific, validation of references. J Exp Bot 60, 487–493. PMID: 19264760
Kitchen RR et al. (2010). Statistical aspects of quantitative real-time PCR experiment design. Methods 50, 231–236. PMID: 20109551
Yuan JS et al. (2006). Statistical analysis of real-time PCR data. BMC Bioinformatics 7, 85. PMID: 16504059
Call us at 1-800-4-BIORAD (1-800-424-6723)
Please reenter your email address in the correct format.
Please enter your email address.
Your subscription information already exists, we will send you an email with specific instructions to manage your existing subscription profile.
To receive the latest news, promotions, and more, sign up for Bio-Rad updates by entering your email address below. You can elect to receive only the types of Bio-Rad communications that are of interest to you..
Copyright © 2013 Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved.