Applied Biosystems Inc. today announced that it has expanded its portfolio of research tools that enable scientists to conduct gene expression analysis with limited sample materials. The new TaqMan® PreAmp Pools are pre-configured sets of reagents that allow scientists to amplify small amounts of RNA from biological samples in order to conduct comprehensive gene expression profiling. Designed for use with the company's TaqMan® Gene Signature Arrays, which are targeted to specific research applications, the TaqMan PreAmp Pools enable scientists to conduct experiments that would otherwise be difficult and costly to perform.
Analysis of gene expression provides researchers with important insights about the underlying molecular basis for cellular development, disease processes and response to treatment. Researchers working with small or limited sample materials, such as stem cells, laser-capture microdissected samples, needle biopsies, and paraffin-embedded tissues, often are limited in the types of gene expression analyses they can perform, unless they have a reliable and efficient means to pre-amplify their starting material.
The new TaqMan PreAmp Pools combine all of the primers needed for the specific TaqMan Array into one tube for use with the company's PreAmp® Master Mix, streamlining the workflow and allowing more researchers to take advantage of these comprehensive gene signature panels for important scientific investigations. This is a significant advancement because previously researchers working with limited samples would have insufficient material to take advantage of the multiple analyses possible with the 384-well micro fluidic card format of the TaqMan Arrays.
The first available TaqMan PreAmp Pools are for the Applied Biosystems Human and Rat GPCR Arrays, and TaqMan® Stem Cell Pluripotency Arrays for human and mouse. The Human and Rat GPCR Arrays target 384 genes, including controls, for these important drug targets. The TaqMan Stem Cell Pluripotency Array targets 96 genes for independent monitoring of human embryonic stem cell lines, or their corresponding genes in mice, to help investigators compare cell lines derived from diverse sources and determine which cells have the greatest potential to differentiate.
An example of an organization that is benefiting from these new tools for a stem cell application is Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey, which is one of the world's largest and most experienced centers for infertility treatment. As part of its research on pre-implantation human embryonic development, RMA is using the TaqMan PreAmp Pools as a complete workflow solution that includes the Applied Biosystems TaqMan® Gene Expression Cells-to-CT Kit and the TaqMan Stem Cell Pluripotency Array to characterize gene expression in three-day-old embryos. Using the Applied Biosystems tools, RMA has been able to develop a quantitative and reproducible procedure to characterize single cell expression of stem cell pluripotency genes and complete these experiments in less than a day.
“The TaqMan PreAmp Pools have helped us improve quality control and reproducibility in our studies, and dramatically reduce the cost and time involved in performing these experiments,” said Nathan Treff, Ph.D., director of molecular biology at RMA.