Strategies for microarray analysis of limiting amounts of RNA

Brief Funct Genomic Proteomic. 2003 Apr;2(1):31-6. doi: 10.1093/bfgp/2.1.31.


One of the critical limitations of current microarray technologies for use in expression analyses is the relatively large amount of input RNA required to generate labelled cDNA populations for array analysis. In situations where RNA is limiting, the options for expression profiling are to increase cDNA labelling and hybridisation efficiency, or to use an amplification strategy to generate enough RNA/cDNA for use with a standard labelling method. Sample amplification approaches must preserve the representation of the relative abundances of the different RNAs within the starting population and must also be highly reproducible. This review evaluates current signal and sample amplification technologies, including those that can be used to generate labelled cDNA populations for array analysis from as little as a single cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Complementary / analysis*
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / instrumentation
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / instrumentation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Quality Control
  • RNA / analysis*
  • RNA / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA