High-throughput real-time PCR

Methods Mol Biol. 2008;429:89-98. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60327-040-3_7.


Real-time PCR is presently the gold standard of gene expression quantification. Configuration of real-time PCR instruments with 384-well reaction blocks, enables the instrument to be used essentially as a low-density array. While PCR will never rival the throughput of microchip arrays, in situations where one is interested in assaying several hundreds of genes, high throughput, real-time PCR is an excellent alternative to microchip arrays. By combining SYBR green detection and 5 microL reaction volume, the associated costs of high-throughput real-time PCR are comparable to microarrays. Described here is a complete protocol to perform real-time PCR in a 384-well configuration. Examples are provided to access numerous PCR primer sequences that may be used for high-throughput real-time PCR. Methods of analysis are described to present real-time PCR data as heat maps and clustered similar to the presentation of cDNA microarray data. An example is provided to profile the expression of over 200 microRNA precursors using high-throughput real-time PCR.

MeSH terms

  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / analysis*
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Organic Chemicals
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA Precursors / analysis*
  • RNA Precursors / genetics
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • MicroRNAs
  • Organic Chemicals
  • RNA Precursors
  • SYBR Green I