Application of quantitative RT-PCR using 'TaqMan' technology to evaluate the expression of CK 18 mRNA in various cell lines

E. Tokunaga, Y. Maehara, E. Oki, T. Koga, Y. Kakeji, K. Sugimachi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is often used for sensitive detection of micrometastasis in peripheral blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow. While the utility of this method has been documented, it also has limitations in the detection of micrometastasis. The mRNA of target genes can be detected in healthy donors or in samples used for negative control, therefore the non-quantitativeness of conventional RT-PCR has been called into question. We analyzed the expression level of cytokeratin (CK) 18 mRNA in established esophageal and gastrointestinal carcinoma cell lines and non-epithelial cells, using quantitative RT-PCR, based on real time 'TaqMan TM' technology. CK 18 mRNA is more highly expressed in carcinoma cells than in non-epithelial cells. However, the expression level in non-epithelial cells was easily detected using conventional RT-PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis. In an analysis of CK 18 mRNA expression in peripheral venous blood in 13 healthy volunteers, we found that CK 18 mRNA was much less expressed than in cancer cell lines. However, the expression in all samples was at a level which was also detected using conventional RT-PCR. It would thus seem that not only qualitative, but also quantitative analysis, of the target mRNA is important to detect micrometastasis. Quantitative RT-PCR methods will make comparisons of the possible differences in expression levels of the target gene. For clinical applications, much further study is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-381
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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