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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Selenoprotein mRNA is expressed in blood at levels comparable to major tissues in rats.

Liver glutathione peroxidase-1 ( GPX1) mRNA is highly regulated by Se status relative to other parameters, but is of limited use for determining Se requirements in humans. To examine the efficacy of using blood for Se status assessment using molecular biology markers, we used a ribonuclease protection assay (RPA) to study mRNA levels in whole blood relative to 16 other rat tissues. Significant amounts of total RNA (>50 microg) were obtained from 1 mL of whole blood. Total RNA from 28-d postweaning Se-adequate (0.2 microg Se/g diet) male rats was analyzed for GPX1, GPX4, GPX3, thioredoxin reductase-1 ( TRR1), and selenoprotein-P (SelP). RPA detected significant mRNA expression for at least 1 selenoprotein in all tissues except pancreas. GPX1 mRNA expression using this mix of RPA probes yielded the highest signal for GPX1 relative to the other selenoprotein signals in all tissues except testis; GPX1 expression was 4th highest in blood and similar to the major organs (liver, 1st; heart, 5th; kidney, 6th). Kidney was highest for GPX3, and testes was highest for GPX4, TRR1, and SelP. This study is the first to report the gene expression pattern for a number of selenoproteins and across a comprehensive set of tissues. The mRNA levels for all selenoproteins in blood were comparable to levels in the major organs, and decreases in blood and liver GPX1 mRNA levels in Se deficiency were similar, supporting potential use of whole blood for assessing Se status using molecular biology markers.[1]


  1. Selenoprotein mRNA is expressed in blood at levels comparable to major tissues in rats. Evenson, J.K., Wheeler, A.D., Blake, S.M., Sunde, R.A. J. Nutr. (2004) [Pubmed]
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