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Anal Biochem. 2005 Jan 15;336(2):221-30.

Modified representational difference analysis: isolation of differentially expressed mRNAs from rare cell populations.

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Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


Representational difference analysis of cDNAs (cDNA-RDA) is a sensitive subtractive hybridization technique capable of isolating rare mRNAs differentially expressed in two cell populations. cDNA-RDA can detect sequences represented at 0.0001% in the starting mRNA. By using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR), cDNA-RDA also lends itself to studies in which samples are derived from limited numbers of cells. Standard cDNA-RDA protocols depend upon the presence of specific restriction enzyme sites in each cDNA, typically enzymes with four base recognition sequences. These sites are used to reduce the cDNA size range and provide primer sites for subsequent PCR amplification. Consequently, transcripts containing fewer than two of the chosen restriction sites are undetectable by cDNA-RDA. We have developed a restriction enzyme site-independent cDNA-RDA protocol called modified RDA (MRDA). We constructed MRDA test sequences from random hexamer-primed cDNA, thereby increasing the representation of mRNAs which are excluded by cDNA-RDA protocols. MRDA is also more efficient than cDNA-RDA at removing highly expressed housekeeping genes during the subtractive hybridization process, thereby allowing more efficient isolation of preferentially expressed mRNAs. Using MRDA, we isolated cDNAs differentially expressed between limited numbers of human CD4(+) naive and memory T lymphocyte subsets and skin- and gut-homing memory T cell subsets.

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