Control and statistical analysis of in vitro reporter gene assays

Anal Biochem. 2000 Feb 15;278(2):170-4. doi: 10.1006/abio.1999.4460.


The use of in vitro gene reporter assays is becoming increasingly widespread in biology and particularly in drug metabolism, where the need for rapid screening of novel compounds is a driving factor. There is, however, little standardization of technique in the control of such assays, nor in the interpretation of results. This leads to confusion in the literature, with the possibility of a single piece of data being interpreted by several different methods, potentially giving vastly differing results. We have developed a reporter gene assay methodology that controls for many biological and experimental variables in the system and allows the application of a mathematical model to determine statistical significance between groups. Use of this methodology, we feel, allows an accurate and reproducible method of analyzing in vitro reporter gene assay data and increases its value as a biological tool.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Genes, Reporter*