Affymetrix, Inc. (NASDAQ:AFFX) today announced the launch of QuantiGene® ViewRNA Assay formats, which enable a new era of "in situ multiplex gene expression analysis" by allowing drug screening of native cells and advancing the pace of biomarker disease research and stem cell studies. These in situ assays enable researchers to visualize gene expression in individual cells at an unprecedented level of sensitivity and speed.
“In drug discovery, time is of the essence, and this assay allows us to know earlier in the process whether or not a compound is promising enough to pursue”
QuantiGene ViewRNA Assays reliably quantitate gene expression while precisely localizing RNA trafficking within the cell at the single-copy level. The assays' high specificity, bright signals, multiplex capability, and use across broad sample types, including tissues and blood, provide researchers with a new level of in situ gene expression analysis.
The five-hour QuantiGene ViewRNA Assay is capable of multiplex gene expression in 96- or 384-well formats for high-throughput phenotypic and reporter gene compound screening, thereby eliminating the arduous task of constructing reporter cell lines. The single-plex tissue assay is a practical alternative to immunohistochemistry (IHC), a widely used assay that is often challenging because antibodies are either unavailable or unreliable in the experimental system under investigation. The QuantiGene ViewRNA Assay uses a novel oligonucleotide probe design that can be universally applied to any gene of interest.
"In drug discovery, time is of the essence, and this assay allows us to know earlier in the process whether or not a compound is promising enough to pursue," said Dan Garza, Senior Director of Biology at Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc., which is currently using the assay to screen proteostasis modulators. "This assay represents a powerful new approach for quantification as well as analyzing heterogeneity and studying the kinetics of compound responses."
"Researchers are excited about the multiplex assay because it allows them to simultaneously detect up to four individual transcripts in a cell's native state without recombinant manipulation," said George Bers, General Manager of the QuantiGene portfolio at Affymetrix. "The tissue-based assay is generating strong interest because it can detect genes in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) or cryogenic tissue sections. These sample types are normally difficult to use, and now researchers in drug discovery and development, molecular pathology, translational medicine, oncology, and neurosciences can pinpoint genes in specific cells of interest within complex tissues."
QuantiGene ViewRNA Assays can also be used in a number of other applications, including:
- Quantifying target mRNA following RNAi gene silencing
- Biomarker validation testing
- Stem cell characterization, differentiation, and quality control
- Viral host cell interactions
- Validating microarray gene expression results