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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2004, Issue 2, Pages 113-120
Review article

Serial Analysis of Gene Expression: Applications in Human Studies

International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110067, India

Received 7 August 2003; Accepted 13 November 2003

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) is a powerful tool, which provides quantitative and comprehensive expression profile of genes in a given cell population. It works by isolating short fragments of genetic information from the expressed genes that are present in the cell being studied. These short sequences, called SAGE tags, are linked together for efficient sequencing. The frequency of each SAGE tag in the cloned multimers directly reflects the transcript abundance. Therefore, SAGE results in an accurate picture of gene expression at both the qualitative and the quantitative levels. It does not require a hybridization probe for each transcript and allows new genes to be discovered. This technique has been applied widely in human studies and various SAGE tags/SAGE libraries have been generated from different cells/tissues such as dendritic cells, lung fibroblast cells, oocytes, thyroid tissue, B-cell lymphoma, cultured keratinocytes, muscles, brain tissues, sciatic nerve, cultured Schwann cells, cord blood-derived mast cells, retina, macula, retinal pigment epithelial cells, skin cells, and so forth. In this review we present the updated information on the applications of SAGE technology mainly to human studies.