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BMC Genomics. 2003 Nov 10;4(1):44.

Amplified RNA degradation in T7-amplification methods results in biased microarray hybridizations.

Author information

  • 1Institute for Hormone and Fertility Research, Centre of Innovative Medicine, Falkenried 88, 20251 Hamburg, Germany. spiess@ihf.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The amplification of RNA with the T7-System is a widely used technique for obtaining increased amounts of RNA starting from limited material. The amplified RNA (aRNA) can subsequently be used for microarray hybridizations, warranting sufficient signal for image analysis. We describe here an amplification-time dependent degradation of aRNA in prolonged standard T7 amplification protocols, that results in lower average size aRNA and decreased yields.

RESULTS:

A time-dependent degradation of amplified RNA (aRNA) could be observed when using the classical "Eberwine" T7-Amplification method. When the amplification was conducted for more than 4 hours, the resulting aRNA showed a significantly smaller size distribution on gel electrophoresis and a concomitant reduction of aRNA yield. The degradation of aRNA could be correlated to the presence of the T7 RNA Polymerase in the amplification cocktail. The aRNA degradation resulted in a strong bias in microarray hybridizations with a high coefficient of variation and a significant reduction of signals of certain transcripts, that seem to be susceptible to this RNA degrading activity. The time-dependent degradation of these transcripts was verified by a real-time PCR approach.

CONCLUSIONS:

It is important to perform amplifications not longer than 4 hours as there is a characteristic 'quality vs. yield' situation for longer amplification times. When conducting microarray hybridizations it is important not to compare results obtained with aRNA from different amplification times.

PMID:
14606961
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC280674
Free PMC Article

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