Quality assessment and data analysis for microRNA expression arrays.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Nucleic acids research, Volume 37, Issue 2, p.e17 (2009)


2009, Animals, Basic Sciences Division, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Gene Expression Profiling, Genomics Core Facility, Humans, MICE, MICRORNAS, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Public Health Sciences Division, Quality Control, Rats, Reference Standards, Reproducibility of Results, Shared Resources


MicroRNAs are small (approximately 22 nt) RNAs that regulate gene expression and play important roles in both normal and disease physiology. The use of microarrays for global characterization of microRNA expression is becoming increasingly popular and has the potential to be a widely used and valuable research tool. However, microarray profiling of microRNA expression raises a number of data analytic challenges that must be addressed in order to obtain reliable results. We introduce here a universal reference microRNA reagent set as well as a series of nonhuman spiked-in synthetic microRNA controls, and demonstrate their use for quality control and between-array normalization of microRNA expression data. We also introduce diagnostic plots designed to assess and compare various normalization methods. We anticipate that the reagents and analytic approach presented here will be useful for improving the reliability of microRNA microarray experiments.