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How PAXgene® and Tempus™ blood tubes influence RNA expression signatures

RNA expression signatures are essential for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying many biological processes and diseases. The analysis of RNA expression signatures provides information about the gene expression levels in a sample and can reveal key insights into the function of different genes, pathways, and biological processes. However, the quality and stability of the RNA in a blood sample can be greatly influenced by the way that the sample is collected, stored, and processed for RNA library preparation. This is where PAXgene® (PreAnalytiX) and Tempus™ (Applied Biosystems) blood tubes come into play.

This article discusses how PAXgene® and Tempus™ blood collection tubes influence RNA expression signatures.

What are PAXgene® and Tempus™ tubes?

PAXgene® and Tempus™ blood tubes are two types of blood collection tubes commonly used in molecular biology and genomics studies to collect and preserve blood samples for downstream analysis, including RNA library preparation and RNA expression analysis (Rainen et al., 2002; Skogholt et al., 2017). Each type of blood collection tube has unique properties and features that can influence the quality and stability of the RNA in the sample and thus impact the RNA expression signatures obtained from the sample.

PAXgene® tubes contain an anticoagulant and stabilizing reagent that helps to preserve RNA and prevent degradation during storage. This makes PAXgene® tubes particularly useful for samples stored for long periods or transported over long distances. The preservation of RNA in PAXgene® tubes is also relatively consistent, meaning that the RNA expression signatures obtained from PAXgene® tubes are generally more reproducible across different samples and conditions.

Tempus™ tubes, on the other hand, contain a proprietary stabilizing solution that helps preserve RNA and maintain its stability during storage and transport. Tempus™ tubes are also designed to be compatible with a range of downstream analysis techniques, including next-generation sequencing (NGS). They can help to improve the quality and sensitivity of RNA expression signatures obtained from the sample.

Choosing the right collection blood tube for your RNA expression analysis project

When choosing between PAXgene® and Tempus™ blood tubes for RNA expression analysis, it is essential to carefully consider the study's specific requirements and the planned downstream analysis. Factors such as the length of storage time required, the intended use of the sample, and the type of analysis that will be performed can all influence the choice of the blood collection tube. Additionally, it is important to validate the results obtained with appropriate controls and quality control measures to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the RNA expression signatures obtained from the sample. Please visit our previous blog article for additional information about the length of storage time and RNA quality control.

Ultra-high-throughput whole blood RNA sequencing

Novel ultra-high-throughput bulk RNA-seq approaches, such as Bulk RNA Barcoding and Sequencing (Blood MERCURIUS™ BRB-seq) from Alithea Genomics, are optimized for whole blood transcriptome sequencing (Alpern et al., 2019). This technology uses sample barcoding, allowing researchers to pool samples for simultaneous processing.

When combined with standard whole blood RNA extraction from PAXgene® blood tubes or Tempus™ blood tubes, researchers can perform larger-scale cohort studies at a lower cost than ever before.

Alithea Genomics now provides an integrated RNA extraction and sequencing pipeline for whole blood samples stored in PAXgene® or Tempus™ tubes.

To find out more about whole blood RNA extraction and Blood MERCURIUS™ BRB-seq please contact us at



  • Alpern, D., Gardeux, V., Russeil, J., Mangeat, B., Meireles-Filho, A.C., Breysse, R., Hacker, D. and Deplancke, B., 2019. BRB-seq: ultra-affordable high-throughput transcriptomics enabled by bulk RNA barcoding and sequencing. Genome biology20(1), pp.1-15.
  • Rainen, L., Oelmueller, U., Jurgensen, S., Wyrich, R., Ballas, C., Schram, J., Herdman, C., Bankaitis-Davis, D., Nicholls, N., Trollinger, D. and Tryon, V., 2002. Stabilization of mRNA expression in whole blood samples. Clinical chemistry48(11), pp.1883-1890.
  • Skogholt, A.H., Ryeng, E., Erlandsen, S.E., Skorpen, F., Schønberg, S.A. and Sætrom, P., 2017. Gene expression differences between PAXgene and Tempus blood RNA tubes are highly reproducible between independent samples and biobanks. BMC research notes10(1), pp.1-12.