Maintenance genes can be used for normalization in the comparison of gene expressions. Even though the absolute expression levels of maintenance genes may vary considerably among different tissues or cells, a set of maintenance genes may provide suitable normalization if their expression levels are relatively constant in the specific tissues or cells of interest. A statistical procedure is proposed to select maintenance genes for normalization of gene expression data from tissues or cells of interest. This procedure is based on simultaneous confidence intervals for practical equivalence of relative gene expressions in these tissues or cells. As an illustration, the procedure is applied to the maintenance gene expression data from Vandesompele et al. (2002).
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