Database Commons

a catalog of biological databases

e.g., animal; RNA; Methylation; China

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Full name:
Description: PrimerBank is a public resource for PCR primers. These primers are designed for gene expression detection or quantification (real-time PCR). PrimerBank contains over 306,800 primers covering most known human and mouse genes.
Year founded: 2009
Last update: 2012-01-01
Version: v1.0
Real time : Checking...
Country/Region: United States
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Contact information

University/Institution: Washington University
Address: 4511 Forest Park Ave., Saint Louis, Missouri 63108, USA
City: Saint Louis
Province/State: Missouri
Country/Region: United States
Contact name (PI/Team): Brian Seed
Contact email (PI/Helpdesk):


PrimerBank: a PCR primer database for quantitative gene expression analysis, 2012 update. [PMID: 22086960]
Wang X, Spandidos A, Wang H, Seed B.

Optimization of primer sequences for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) and reaction conditions remains an experimental challenge. We have developed a resource, PrimerBank, which contains primers that can be used for PCR and qPCR under stringent and allele-invariant amplification conditions. A distinguishing feature of PrimerBank is the experimental validation of primer pairs covering most known mouse genes. Here, we describe a major update of PrimerBank that includes the design of new primers covering 17,076 and 18,086 genes for the human and mouse species, respectively. As a result of this update, PrimerBank contains 497,156 primers (an increase of 62% from the previous version) that cover 36,928 human and mouse genes, corresponding to around 94% of all known protein-coding gene sequences. An updated algorithm based on our previous approach was used to design new primers using current genomic information available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). PrimerBank primers work under uniform PCR conditions, and can be used for high-throughput or genome-wide qPCR. Because of their broader linear dynamic range and greater sensitivity, qPCR approaches are used to reanalyze changes in expression suggested by exploratory technologies such as microarrays and RNA-Seq. The primers and all experimental validation data can be freely accessed from the PrimerBank website,

Nucleic Acids Res. 2012:40(Database issue) | 269 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
PrimerBank: a resource of human and mouse PCR primer pairs for gene expression detection and quantification. [PMID: 19906719]
Spandidos A, Wang X, Wang H, Seed B.

PrimerBank ( is a public resource for the retrieval of human and mouse primer pairs for gene expression analysis by PCR and Quantitative PCR (QPCR). A total of 306,800 primers covering most known human and mouse genes can be accessed from the PrimerBank database, together with information on these primers such as T(m), location on the transcript and amplicon size. For each gene, at least one primer pair has been designed and in many cases alternative primer pairs exist. Primers have been designed to work under the same PCR conditions, thus facilitating high-throughput QPCR. There are several ways to search for primers for the gene(s) of interest, such as by: GenBank accession number, NCBI protein accession number, NCBI gene ID, PrimerBank ID, NCBI gene symbol or gene description (keyword). In all, 26,855 primer pairs covering most known mouse genes have been experimentally validated by QPCR, agarose gel analysis, sequencing and BLAST, and all validation data can be freely accessed from the PrimerBank web site.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010:38(Database issue) | 443 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
A comprehensive collection of experimentally validated primers for Polymerase Chain Reaction quantitation of murine transcript abundance. [PMID: 19108745]
Spandidos A, Wang X, Wang H, Dragnev S, Thurber T, Seed B.

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR) is a widely applied analytical method for the accurate determination of transcript abundance. Primers for QPCR have been designed on a genomic scale but non-specific amplification of non-target genes has frequently been a problem. Although several online databases have been created for the storage and retrieval of experimentally validated primers, only a few thousand primer pairs are currently present in existing databases and the primers are not designed for use under a common PCR thermal profile. We previously reported the implementation of an algorithm to predict PCR primers for most known human and mouse genes. We now report the use of that resource to identify 17483 pairs of primers that have been experimentally verified to amplify unique sequences corresponding to distinct murine transcripts. The primer pairs have been validated by gel electrophoresis, DNA sequence analysis and thermal denaturation profile. In addition to the validation studies, we have determined the uniformity of amplification using the primers and the technical reproducibility of the QPCR reaction using the popular and inexpensive SYBR Green I detection method. We have identified an experimentally validated collection of murine primer pairs for PCR and QPCR which can be used under a common PCR thermal profile, allowing the evaluation of transcript abundance of a large number of genes in parallel. This feature is increasingly attractive for confirming and/or making more precise data trends observed from experiments performed with DNA microarrays.

BMC Genomics. 2008:9() | 129 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)
A PCR primer bank for quantitative gene expression analysis. [PMID: 14654707]
Wang X, Seed B.

Although gene expression profiling by microarray analysis is a useful tool for assessing global levels of transcriptional activity, variability associated with the data sets usually requires that observed differences be validated by some other method, such as real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR). However, non-specific amplification of non-target genes is frequently observed in the latter, confounding the analysis in approximately 40% of real-time PCR attempts when primer-specific labels are not used. Here we present an experimentally validated algorithm for the identification of transcript-specific PCR primers on a genomic scale that can be applied to real-time PCR with sequence-independent detection methods. An online database, PrimerBank, has been created for researchers to retrieve primer information for their genes of interest. PrimerBank currently contains 147 404 primers encompassing most known human and mouse genes. The primer design algorithm has been tested by conventional and real-time PCR for a subset of 112 primer pairs with a success rate of 98.2%.

Nucleic Acids Res. 2003:31(24) | 504 Citations (from Europe PMC, 2021-06-19)


All databases:
119/5061 (97.668%)
16/924 (98.377%)
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Record metadata

Created on: 2015-06-20
Curated by:
Lina Ma [2018-06-08]
Shixiang Sun [2016-03-28]
Mengwei Li [2016-02-19]
Shixiang Sun [2015-11-21]
Shixiang Sun [2015-06-28]
Shixiang Sun [2015-06-26]