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Quantification of GPCR mRNA Using Real-Time RT-PCR

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Characterisation of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) mRNA expression under normal, different pharmacological and pathological conditions in experimental animal models and human tissue biopsies by quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) is a valuable approach to understand the regulation of GPCR expression. RT-qPCR is specific and sensitive with a broad dynamic range, which allows precise quantification of mRNA species of interest. In addition to measuring the relative levels of mRNA in a tissue or changes in expression levels between groups of genes of interest, RT-qPCR is also used to identify splice variants and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of GPCRs. Even though RT-qPCR has become the standard method for quantification of gene expression, RT-qPCR is sensitive to RNA quality, assay design, normalisation approach and data analysis. This protocol is meant as a guide to RT-qPCR methodology with references to the best standard methods available at present.
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