A Tissue Fixative that Protects Macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and Protein) and Histomorphology in Clinical Samples

Vladimir Vincek, Mehdi Nassiri, Mehrdad Nadji, Azorides R Morales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

138 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Preservation of macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and proteins) in tissue is traditionally achieved by immediate freezing of the sample. Although isolation of PCR-able RNA has been reported from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues, the process has not been shown to be reproducible because high molecular weight RNA is usually degraded. We investigated the potential value of a new universal molecular fixative (UMFIX, Sakura Finetek USA, Inc., Torrance, California) in preservation of macromolecules in paraffin-embedded tissue. Mouse and human tissues were fixed in UMFIX from 1 hour to 8 weeks. They were then processed by a rapid tissue processing (RTP) system, embedded in paraffin, and evaluated for routine histology as well as for the quality and quantity of DNA, RNA, and proteins. Formalin-fixed tissues were processed by RTP and evaluated in a similar manner. Fresh-frozen samples were used as controls. The morphology of UMFIX-exposed tissue was comparable to that fixed in formalin. High molecular weight RNA was preserved in tissue that was immediately fixed in UMFIX and stored from 1 hour to 8 weeks at room temperature. There were no significant differences between UMFIX-exposed and frozen tissues on PCR, RT-PCR, real-time PCR, and expression microarrays. Similarly, physical and antigenic preservation of proteins in UMFIX tissue was similar to fresh state. Both RNA and proteins were substantially degraded in formalin-fixed and similarly processed specimens. We concluded that it is now possible to preserve histomorphology and intact macromolecules in the same archival paraffin-embedded tissue through the use of a novel fixative and a rapid processing system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1427-1435
Number of pages9
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Volume83
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

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Fixatives
RNA
DNA
Proteins
Paraffin
Formaldehyde
Polymerase Chain Reaction
Molecular Weight
Freezing
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Histology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

A Tissue Fixative that Protects Macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and Protein) and Histomorphology in Clinical Samples. / Vincek, Vladimir; Nassiri, Mehdi; Nadji, Mehrdad; Morales, Azorides R.

In: Laboratory Investigation, Vol. 83, No. 10, 01.10.2003, p. 1427-1435.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Vincek, Vladimir ; Nassiri, Mehdi ; Nadji, Mehrdad ; Morales, Azorides R. / A Tissue Fixative that Protects Macromolecules (DNA, RNA, and Protein) and Histomorphology in Clinical Samples. In: Laboratory Investigation. 2003 ; Vol. 83, No. 10. pp. 1427-1435.
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