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Methods Mol Biol. 2008;420:303-17. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-583-1_19.

Linear RNA amplification for the production of microarray hybridization probes.

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  • 1Institut fü Biologie-Genetik, Freie Universitä Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


To understand Drosophila development and other genetically controlled processes, it is often desirable to identify differences in gene expression levels. An experimental approach to investigate these processes is to catalog the transcriptome by hybridization of mRNA to DNA microbar-rays. In these experiments mRNA-derived hybridization probes are produced and hybridized to an array of DNA spots on a solid support. The labeled cDNAs of the complex hybridization probe will bind to their complementary sequences and provide quantification of the relative concentration of the corresponding transcript in the starting material. However, such approaches are often limited by the scarcity of the experimental sample because standard methods of probe preparation require microgram quantities of mRNA template. Linear RNA amplification can alleviate such limitations to support the generation of microarray hybridization probes from a few 100 pg of mRNA. These smaller quantities can be isolated from a few 100 cells. Here, we present a linear amplification protocol designed to preserve both the relative abundance of transcripts as well as their sequence complexity.

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