Comparative analysis of amplified and nonamplified RNA for hybridization in cDNA microarray

Anal Biochem. 2003 Oct 15;321(2):244-51. doi: 10.1016/s0003-2697(03)00466-4.


Limiting amounts of RNA is a major issue in cDNA microarray, especially when one is dealing with fresh tissue samples. Here we describe a protocol based on template switch and T7 amplification that led to efficient and linear amplification of 1300x. Using a glass-array containing 368 genes printed in three or six replicas covering a wide range of expression levels and ratios, we determined quality and reproducibility of the data obtained from one nonamplified and two independently amplified RNAs (aRNA) derived from normal and tumor samples using replicas with dye exchange (dye-swap measurements). Overall, signal-to-noise ratio improved when we used aRNA (1.45-fold for channel 1 and 2.02-fold for channel 2), increasing by 6% the number of spots with meaningful data. Measurements arising from independent aRNA samples showed strong correlation among themselves (r(2)=0.962) and with those from the nonamplified sample (r(2)=0.975), indicating the reproducibility and fidelity of the amplification procedure. Measurement differences, i.e, spots with poor correlation between amplified and nonamplified measurements, did not show association with gene sequence, expression intensity, or expression ratio and can, therefore, be compensated with replication. In conclusion, aRNA can be used routinely in cDNA microarray analysis, leading to improved quality of data with high fidelity and reproducibility.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • RNA / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Software


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA