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Open Access Research article

TFRC and ACTB as the best reference genes to quantify Urokinase Plasminogen Activator in breast cancer

Keivan Majidzadeh-A*, Rezvan Esmaeili and Nasrin Abdoli

Author Affiliations

Iranian Center for Breast Cancer (ICBC); Academic Center for Education, Culture and Research (ACECR) No 45, Nazari St, Aboureihan St, Enghelab Ave, Tehran, Iran

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:215  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-215

Published: 25 June 2011



Biomedical researchers have long looked for ways to diagnose and treat cancer patients at the early stages through biomarkers. Although conventional techniques are routinely applied in the detection of biomarkers, attitudes towards using Real-Time PCR techniques in detection of many biomarkers are increasing. Normalization of quantitative Real-Time PCR is necessary to validate non-biological alteration occurring during the steps of RNA quantification. Selection of variably expressed housekeeping genes (HKs) will affect the validity of the data. The aim of the present study was to identify uniformly expressed housekeeping genes in order to use in the breast cancer gene expression studies. Urokinase Plasminogen Activator was used as a gene of interest.


The expression of six HKs (TFRC, GUSB, GAPDH, ACTB, HPRT1 and RPLP0) was investigated using geNorm and NormFinder softwares in forty breast tumor, four normal and eight adjacent tissues. RPLP0 and GAPDH revealed maximum M value, while TFRC demonstrated lowest M value.


In the present study the most and the least stable genes were TFRC and RPLP0 respectively. TFRC and ACTB were verified as the best combination of two genes for breast cancer quantification. The result of this study shows that in each gene expression analysis HKs selection should be done based on experiment conditions.