Cells and tissues maintain normal physiology, respond to stimuli, and initiate developmental programs in a number of different ways. One of the most important mechanisms cells use to regulate these processes is regulating expression levels of a gene or set of genes. Thus, to understand normal and abnormal states of cells, analyzing changes in gene expression levels is a critical part of an experimental program.
Clinical researchers make extensive use of gene expression analysis. For example, hyperactivation of a cell signaling pathway can initiate extensive overexpression of growth-triggering genes, initiating formation of a tumor. Exposure to a viral pathogen can cause characteristic changes in expression of primary immune response genes. Treatment of cultured cells with drug or vaccine candidates may lead to characteristic changes in expression of genes that define a biomarker signature response. In addition, dysregulated expression of key developmental regulators may result in developmental anomalies. Understanding gene expression changes is therefore critical for the design and optimization of interventions in clinical research studies.
Due to the difficulty in obtaining relevant samples and large scales of research, many of these types of studies are decentralized and collaborative—that is, the experiments are performed at a variety of different sites and by different operators. To have confidence that the observed gene expression changes in the experimental paradigm are real, investigators must be sure that the equipment on which the experiments are performed can produce the same results, regardless of where the experiment is performed or by whom. Only if the instrumentation produces highly reproducible results can scientists draw firm conclusions on the efficacy of the intervention being researched.
In this application note, we focus on the exceptional reproducibility of the QuantStudio 7 Pro Real-Time PCR System, demonstrating minimal well-to-well and instrument-to instrument variation. The system offers high quality, high throughput, excellent reliability, and an optimal user experience for researchers who want to work smarter in the lab.