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Evaluation of RNA isolated from human tissues: quality control for surgical and postmortem samples

be used for some gene expression profiling techniques if they are designed specifically for samples with degraded RNA. These include PCR using short amplicons of 100 bp or less or the Illumina DASL array system.


Table 1.
RIN numbers by application

RIN Suitability 1-5 PCR assays with short regions of amplification 5.1-6.9 qRT-PCR applications 7.0-10.0 Highly demanding gene array assays


The use of alternative technologies can be important when working with human tissue samples. Human tissues often have degraded RNA at the time of collection. This is in contrast to RNA obtained from tissues collected from young, healthy animals or from cultured cells where it is reasonable to demand that all RNA samples have high integrity with RIN values greater than 8.


Effect of Sample Source on RNA quality
Because Asterand assesses the quality of all frozen tissue samples in our XpressBANK, we have a large database of RNA quality results. We have performed an analysis of the RIN values for 28,544 of these fresh frozen samples, and the data are summarized in Table 2. The samples were from both surgical recoveries, primarily cancer, and postmortem recoveries for normal tissues and chronic diseases that are not usually treated by surgery. Approximately 62% of the surgical samples have RIN values greater than 7; whereas only 32% of the postmortem samples have similar quality. The decreased RNA quality of the postmortem samples is related to the cold ischemia time, and also seems to be related to the cause of
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