A decade of improvements in quantification of gene expression and internal standard selection

Biotechnol Adv. Jul-Aug 2009;27(4):323-33. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2009.01.010.


Major improvements have been made in mRNA quantification and internal standard selection over the last decade. Our aim in this paper is to present the main developments that are of interest for practical laboratory work, contrasting the situation as it is now with the one of ten years ago, and presenting some excellent examples of what can be done today. Specifically, we will mainly discuss Real-Time RT-PCR major improvements that have been performed in the following areas: the most commonly used quantification techniques, the mathematical and software tools created to help researchers in their work on internal standard selection, the availability of detection chemistries and technical information and of commercial tools and services. In addition to mRNA quantification, we will also discuss some aspects of non-coding RNA and protein quantification. In addition to technical improvements, the development of international cooperation and the creation of technical databases are likely to represent a major tool for the future in the standardization of gene expression quantification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Profiling* / methods
  • Gene Expression Profiling* / standards
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Reference Standards
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Software


  • RNA, Messenger