Background: The rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) is a valuable and widely used model animal for biomedical research. However, quantitative analyses of rhesus gene expression profiles under diverse experimental conditions are limited by a shortage of suitable internal controls for the normalization of mRNA levels. In this study, we used a systematic approach for the selection of potential reference genes in the rhesus monkey and compared their suitability to that of the corresponding genes in humans.
Results: Eight housekeeping genes (HKGs) (GAPDH, SDHA, ACTB, RPL13A, RPL32, UBA52, PGK1Y, and YWHAZ) from rhesus monkeys and humans were selected to test for normalization of expression levels in six different tissue types (brain, colon, kidney, liver, lung, and stomach). Their stability and suitability as reference genes were validated by geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper programs. Intriguingly, RPL13A and RPL32 were selected as ideal reference genes only in rhesus monkeys.
Conclusion: The results clearly indicated the necessity of using different reference genes for normalization of expression levels between rhesus monkeys and humans in various tissues.