DNA Genotek said this week that the Flemish Institute for Technological Research, or VITO, will use DNA Genotek's Oragene RNA kits in a series of biomonitoring research projects.
Under the agreement, VITO researchers led by Patrick De Boever will use the Oragene RNA kits as part of a study that will measure a suite of biomarkers to determine the impact of environmental stressors, such as pollutants, irradiation, and psychological stress, on human health and well-being.
Prior studies have demonstrated that gene expression can be useful in identifying molecular changes in blood that relate to environmental stress. As part of the new study, VITO will explore the value of saliva gene expression in biomonitoring and will investigate the potential of developing new saliva biomarkers.
Specific elements of the VITO project include studying normal variability in saliva gene expression in a healthy population and comparing it with blood gene expression; researching the effect of confinement on the neuro-immune system during an extended stay at the Concordia Research Station on the Antarctic Plateau; and investigating the effect of stress on human volunteers participating in parabolic flight.
DNA Genotek's Oragene RNA kit is an all-in-one system for collecting, stabilizing, and transporting high-quality mRNA from saliva, and is designed for human mRNA expression profiling, the company said.
"We have already collected and extracted mRNA from saliva samples using Oragene RNA to estimate time-dependent variation and intra-individual variation," VITO's De Boever said in a statement. "All the samples provided high amounts of RNA and strong [Agilent] BioAnalyzer results and were compatible with our real-time PCR and microarray platform. These initial results convince us to intensify our work using saliva and Oragene RNA and to explore its value in other research projects."
DNA Genotek President and CEO Ian Curry noted in a statement that Oragene RNA's ability to stabilize an RNA sample for months at ambient temperatures "makes it ideal for the challenging environments in these studies."