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Anal Biochem. 1990 Jan;184(1):90-5.

Optimization of northern analysis by vacuum-blotting, RNA-transfer visualization, and ultraviolet fixation.

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Max-Planck-Society Research Unit for Immunology/Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, University of Erlangen, Federal Republic of Germany.


We have optimized Northern analysis at several steps. Overnight electrophoresis was replaced by short gel runs and overnight capillary transfer by rapid vacuum-blotting adapted to Northern analysis. Short uv irradiation was used as a substitute for the usual RNA fixation by baking. Direct staining of RNA before electrophoresis made it possible to check RNA integrity and to evaluate the quality of the size separation immediately after electrophoresis. In this system, RNA transfer onto the membrane support could also be quickly assessed after the blotting step. The net result of all modifications was a doubling of the autoradiography signal compared with that obtained by modern Northern protocols. At the same time, the duration of the procedure was shortened drastically, allowing an autoradiography signal to be obtained within 24 h.

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