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      18S rRNA is a reliable normalisation gene for real time PCR based on influenza virus infected cells


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          One requisite of quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) is to normalise the data with an internal reference gene that is invariant regardless of treatment, such as virus infection. Several studies have found variability in the expression of commonly used housekeeping genes, such as beta-actin ( ACTB) and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase ( GAPDH), under different experimental settings. However, ACTB and GAPDH remain widely used in the studies of host gene response to virus infections, including influenza viruses. To date no detailed study has been described that compares the suitability of commonly used housekeeping genes in influenza virus infections. The present study evaluated several commonly used housekeeping genes [ ACTB, GAPDH, 18S ribosomal RNA ( 18S rRNA), ATP synthase, H+ transporting, mitochondrial F1 complex, beta polypeptide ( ATP5B) and ATP synthase, H+ transporting, mitochondrial Fo complex, subunit C1 (subunit 9) ( ATP5G1)] to identify the most stably expressed gene in human, pig, chicken and duck cells infected with a range of influenza A virus subtypes.


          The relative expression stability of commonly used housekeeping genes were determined in primary human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs), pig tracheal epithelial cells (PTECs), and chicken and duck primary lung-derived cells infected with five influenza A virus subtypes. Analysis of qRT-PCR data from virus and mock infected cells using NormFinder and BestKeeper software programmes found that 18S rRNA was the most stable gene in HBECs, PTECs and avian lung cells.


          Based on the presented data from cell culture models (HBECs, PTECs, chicken and duck lung cells) infected with a range of influenza viruses, we found that 18S rRNA is the most stable reference gene for normalising qRT-PCR data. Expression levels of the other housekeeping genes evaluated in this study (including ACTB and GPADH) were highly affected by influenza virus infection and hence are not reliable as reference genes for RNA normalisation.

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          The implications of using an inappropriate reference gene for real-time reverse transcription PCR data normalization.

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            Association of RIG-I with innate immunity of ducks to influenza.

            Ducks and wild waterfowl perpetuate all strains of influenza viruses in nature. In their natural host, influenza viruses typically cause asymptomatic infection and little pathology. Ducks are often resistant to influenza viruses capable of killing chickens. Here, we show that the influenza virus sensor, RIG-I, is present in ducks and plays a role in clearing an influenza infection. We show evidence suggesting that RIG-I may be absent in chickens, providing a plausible explanation for their increased susceptibility to influenza viruses compared with ducks. RIG-I detects RNA ligands derived from uncapped viral transcripts and initiates the IFN response. In this study, we show that the chicken embryonic fibroblast cell line, DF-1, cannot respond to a RIG-I ligand. However, transfection of duck RIG-I into DF-1 cells rescues the detection of ligand and induces IFN-beta promoter activity. Additionally, DF-1 cells expressing duck RIG-I have an augmented IFN response resulting in decreased influenza replication after challenge with either low or highly pathogenic avian influenza virus. Implicating RIG-I in the antiviral response to an infection in vivo, we found that RIG-I expression is induced 200 fold, early in an innate immune response in ducks challenged with the H5N1 virus A/Vietnam/1203/04. Finding this natural disease resistance gene in ducks opens the possibility of increasing influenza resistance through creation of a transgenic chicken.
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              Characterization of housekeeping genes in zebrafish: male-female differences and effects of tissue type, developmental stage and chemical treatment

              Background Research using the zebrafish model has experienced a rapid growth in recent years. Although real-time reverse transcription PCR (QPCR), normalized to an internal reference ("housekeeping") gene, is a frequently used method for quantifying gene expression changes in zebrafish, many commonly used housekeeping genes are known to vary with experimental conditions. To identify housekeeping genes that are stably expressed under different experimental conditions, and thus suitable as normalizers for QPCR in zebrafish, the present study evaluated the expression of eight commonly used housekeeping genes as a function of stage and hormone/toxicant exposure during development, and by tissue type and sex in adult fish. Results QPCR analysis was used to quantify mRNA levels of bactin1, tubulin alpha 1(tuba1), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gapdh), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (g6pd), TATA-box binding protein (tbp), beta-2-microglobulin (b2m), elongation factor 1 alpha (elfa), and 18s ribosomal RNA (18s) during development (2 – 120 hr postfertilization, hpf); in different tissue types (brain, eye, liver, heart, muscle, gonads) of adult males and females; and after treatment of embryos/larvae (24 – 96 hpf) with commonly used vehicles for administration and agents that represent known environmental endocrine disruptors. All genes were found to have some degree of variability under the conditions tested here. Rank ordering of expression stability using geNorm analysis identified 18s, b2m, and elfa as most stable during development and across tissue types, while gapdh, tuba1, and tpb were the most variable. Following chemical treatment, tuba1, bactin1, and elfa were the most stably expressed whereas tbp, 18s, and b2m were the least stable. Data also revealed sex differences that are gene- and tissue-specific, and treatment effects that are gene-, vehicle- and ligand-specific. When the accuracy of QPCR analysis was tested using different reference genes to measure suppression of cyp19a1b by an estrogen receptor antagonist and induction of cyp1a by an arylhydrocarbon receptor agonist, the direction and magnitude of effects with stable and unstable genes differed. Conclusion This study provides data that can be expected to aid zebrafish researchers in their initial choice of housekeeping genes for future studies, but underlines the importance of further validating housekeeping genes for each new experimental paradigm and fish species.

                Author and article information

                Virol J
                Virol. J
                Virology Journal
                BioMed Central
                8 October 2012
                : 9
                : 230
                [1 ]School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, College Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE12 5RD, UK
                [2 ]School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonington Campus, College Road,, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD, UK
                [3 ]Virology department, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, Addlestone, UK
                Copyright ©2012 Kuchipudi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 12 April 2012
                : 5 October 2012

                Microbiology & Virology
                housekeeping gene,data normalisation,h2n3,qrt-pcr,influenza a viruses,h5n1,reference gene,h1n1


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