Comparing the use of Affymetrix to spotted oligonucleotide microarrays using two retinal pigment epithelium cell lines

Mol Vis. 2003 Oct 6:9:482-96.


Purpose: The present study was designed to compare the results obtained from two different microarray platforms: spotted cDNAs using a two-color system (Clontech, Atlas Glass Human 3.8) and the Affymetrix platform. We evaluated the internal consistency within each of the platforms, and compared the results across the two platforms.

Methods: RNA was isolated from two retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cell lines, D407 cells and ARPE19 cells. Each microarray system requires a specific RNA isolation and target preparation procedure. To compare the results between the two platforms, the intensity values for each platform were standardized and scaled. This allowed for a direct comparison of the data between two very different microarray platforms. Real-time RT-PCR was used as an independent conformation of expression levels for selected transcripts. The protein levels for some of these genes were determined using a quantitative immunoblot method.

Results: First, we compared the transcriptome of the D407 cell line to itself. Within each of the platforms there was a high degree of consistency. However, when the data from the Atlas Glass Human 3.8 microarray platform was compared to that of the Affymetrix platform there was a dramatic lack of agreement. The second step was to compare the mRNA profile of the ARPE19 cell line to the D407 cell line. Again there was good agreement within each platform. When the results of the Atlas Glass Human 3.8 platform were compared to the Affymetrix platform, there was a surprising lack of agreement between the two data sets. Real-time RT-PCR was used as independent means of defining RNA levels in the two cell lines. In general, the real-time RT-PCR results were in better agreement with the Affymetrix platform (85%) than the Atlas Glass platform (33%). In addition, we also examined the levels of 11 proteins in these two cell lines using a quantitative immunoblot method. The results from this protein analysis had a higher degree of concordance with the results from Affymetrix platform.

Conclusions: In both the Atlas Glass Human 3.8 system and the Affymetrix platform, there is a high degree of internal consistency. However, comparisons between the two platforms show a lack of agreement. In general, the real-time RT-PCR confirmed the results on the Affymetrix system more often than those from Atlas Glass arrays. However, in both cases, conformation by an independent method proves to be of considerable value.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actinin / genetics
  • Actinin / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD / genetics
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Connexin 43 / genetics
  • Connexin 43 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Integrins / genetics
  • Integrins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / cytology*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tetraspanin 28


  • Antigens, CD
  • CD81 protein, human
  • Connexin 43
  • Integrins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tetraspanin 28
  • Actinin