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Genomics. 2001 Jan 1;71(1):34-9.

Quantitative assessment of DNA microarrays--comparison with Northern blot analyses.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Osaka City University Medical School, Osaka, 545-8585, Japan.


DNA microarray is a powerful technology that provides the expression profile of thousands of genes. However, less attention has been paid to its quantitative aspect. In this study, we constructed a small-scale DNA microarray that contains 84 genes and characterized its quantitative aspect. Analyses with this microarray showed that 17 genes were induced, whereas 8 genes were suppressed at least twofold during the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. When repeated with the same combination of fluorescent dyes for probe labeling, the microarray produced consistent data (correlation coefficient = 0.991). In contrast, data were less consistent when repeated with the reverse combination of dyes (correlation coefficient = 0.945). The effect of dye combination was particularly evident in several genes. Total RNA (15 microg) and poly(A) RNA (0.5 microg) showed comparable sensitivity and produced essentially identical data (correlation coefficient = 0.983). The sensitivity of the DNA microarrays was slightly inferior to that of Northern blot analyses. In most genes, data obtained with the two methods were consistent. However, in 4 of 46 genes compared, DNA microarrays failed to detect the expression changes that were revealed by Northern blot. These data demonstrated that DNA microarrays provide quantitative data comparable to Northern blot in general, but a few issues must be considered when analyzing data.

Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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