Correlation analysis of external RNA controls reveals its utility for assessment of microarray assay
ABSTRACT Quality control of a microarray experiment has become an important issue for both research and regulation. External RNA controls (ERCs), which can be either added to the total RNA level (tERCs) or introduced right before hybridization (cERCs), are designed and recommended by commercial microarray platforms for assessment of performance of a microarray experiment. However, the utility of ERCs has not been fully realized mainly due to the lack of sufficient data resources. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-led community-wide Microarray Quality Control (MAQC) study generates a large amount of microarray data with implementation of ERCs across several commercial microarray platforms. The utility of ERCs in quality control by assessing the ERCs' concentration-response behavior was investigated in the MAQC study. In this work, an ERC-based correlation analysis was conducted to assess the quality of a microarray experiment. We found that the pairwise correlations of tERCs are sample independent, indicating that the array data obtained from different biological samples can be treated as technical replicates in analysis of tERCs. Consequently, the commonly used quality control method of applying correlation analysis on technical replicates can be adopted for assessing array performance based on different biological samples using tERCs. The proposed approach is sensitive to identifying outlying assays and is not dependent on the choice of normalization method.
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- "Spiked controls can evaluate assay performance, at least for those steps of analysis after spiking occurs. Commercial RNA spikes of known sequence (developed by the External RNA Controls Consortium) can be added to each patient specimen either at the time that lysis buffer is added or later when RNA is being prepared for analysis.67–71 Their downstream measurement can detect interfering substances such as autofluorescence, heparin anticoagulant, hemoglobin protein or globin RNA, or residual phenol. "
ABSTRACT: RNA profiling is increasingly used to predict drug response, dose, or toxicity based on analysis of drug pharmacokinetic or pharmacodynamic pathways. Before implementing multiplexed RNA arrays in clinical practice, validation studies are carried out to demonstrate sufficient evidence of analytic and clinical performance, and to establish an assay protocol with quality assurance measures. Pathologists assure quality by selecting input tissue and by interpreting results in the context of the input tissue as well as the technologies that were used and the clinical setting in which the test was ordered. A strength of RNA profiling is the array-based measurement of tens to thousands of RNAs at once, including redundant tests for critical analytes or pathways to promote confidence in test results. Instrument and reagent manufacturers are crucial for supplying reliable components of the test system. Strategies for quality assurance include careful attention to RNA preservation and quality checks at pertinent steps in the assay protocol, beginning with specimen collection and proceeding through the various phases of transport, processing, storage, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. Specimen quality is checked by probing housekeeping transcripts, while spiked and exogenous controls serve as a check on analytic performance of the test system. Software is required to manipulate abundant array data and present it for interpretation by a laboratory physician who reports results in a manner facilitating therapeutic decision-making. Maintenance of the assay requires periodic documentation of personnel competency and laboratory proficiency. These strategies are shepherding genomic arrays into clinical settings to provide added value to patients and to the larger health care system.Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine 09/2011; 4(1):95-107. DOI:10.2147/PGPM.S14888
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- "A significant observation from this work was the identification of outlier data at one participant's site using principal component analysis (PCA) of the external controls. More recent analysis of the various spike-in controls employed in the measurements for the MAQC project demonstrated promise that the spike-in controls were informative of "outlying" arrays, and that they exhibit behavior that is independent of the sample type . "
ABSTRACT: The maturing of gene expression microarray technology and interest in the use of microarray-based applications for clinical and diagnostic applications calls for quantitative measures of quality. This manuscript presents a retrospective study characterizing several approaches to assess technical performance of microarray data measured on the Affymetrix GeneChip platform, including whole-array metrics and information from a standard mixture of external spike-in and endogenous internal controls. Spike-in controls were found to carry the same information about technical performance as whole-array metrics and endogenous "housekeeping" genes. These results support the use of spike-in controls as general tools for performance assessment across time, experimenters and array batches, suggesting that they have potential for comparison of microarray data generated across species using different technologies. A layered PCA modeling methodology that uses data from a number of classes of controls (spike-in hybridization, spike-in polyA+, internal RNA degradation, endogenous or "housekeeping genes") was used for the assessment of microarray data quality. The controls provide information on multiple stages of the experimental protocol (e.g., hybridization, RNA amplification). External spike-in, hybridization and RNA labeling controls provide information related to both assay and hybridization performance whereas internal endogenous controls provide quality information on the biological sample. We find that the variance of the data generated from the external and internal controls carries critical information about technical performance; the PCA dissection of this variance is consistent with whole-array quality assessment based on a number of quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) metrics. These results provide support for the use of both external and internal RNA control data to assess the technical quality of microarray experiments. The observed consistency amongst the information carried by internal and external controls and whole-array quality measures offers promise for rationally-designed control standards for routine performance monitoring of multiplexed measurement platforms.BMC Research Notes 12/2010; 3(1):349. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-3-349
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ABSTRACT: RNA expression profiles are increasingly used to diagnose and classify disease, based on expression patterns of as many as several thousand RNAs. To ensure quality of expression profiling services in clinical settings, a standard operating procedure incorporates multiple quality indicators and controls, beginning with preanalytic specimen preparation and proceeding thorough analysis, interpretation, and reporting. Before testing, histopathological examination of each cellular specimen, along with optional cell enrichment procedures, ensures adequacy of the input tissue. Other tactics include endogenous controls to evaluate adequacy of RNA and exogenous or spiked controls to evaluate run- and patient-specific performance of the test system, respectively. Unique aspects of quality assurance for array-based tests include controls for the pertinent outcome signatures that often supersede controls for each individual analyte, built-in redundancy for critical analytes or biochemical pathways, and software-supported scrutiny of abundant data by a laboratory physician who interprets the findings in a manner facilitating appropriate medical intervention. Access to high-quality reagents, instruments, and software from commercial sources promotes standardization and adoption in clinical settings, once an assay is vetted in validation studies as being analytically sound and clinically useful. Careful attention to the well-honed principles of laboratory medicine, along with guidance from government and professional groups on strategies to preserve RNA and manage large data sets, promotes clinical-grade assay performance.The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD 01/2012; 14(1):1-11. DOI:10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.09.003 · 3.96 Impact Factor