Commercially available platforms to stabilize messenger RNA (mRNA) and microRNA are critically designed to optimize and ensure the quality and integrity of those nucleic acids. This is not only essential for gene expression analyses, but would provide technical utility in providing concordant standard operating procedures in preserving the structural integrity of RNA species in multicenter clinical research programs and biobanking of cells or tissues for subsequent isolation of intact RNA. The major challenge is that the presence of degraded samples may adversely influence the interpretation of expression levels on isolated mRNA or microRNA samples and that in the absence of a concordant operating procedure between multiple collaborating research centers would confound data analysis and interpretation. However, in this issue of Biomarker Insights, Weber et al provide a detailed and critical analysis of two common RNA preservation systems, PAXgene and RNAlater. Such studies are lacking in the literature. However, the authors provide compelling evidence that not all conservation platforms are created equal and only one system proves its worth.
The article is published online in Biomarker Insights and is free to access.