Correlation of mRNA and protein in complex biological samples

FEBS Lett. 2009 Dec 17;583(24):3966-73. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2009.10.036.


The correlation between mRNA and protein abundances in the cell has been reported to be notoriously poor. Recent technological advances in the quantitative analysis of mRNA and protein species in complex samples allow the detailed analysis of this pathway at the center of biological systems. We give an overview of available methods for the identification and quantification of free and ribosome-bound mRNA, protein abundances and individual protein turnover rates. We review available literature on the correlation of mRNA and protein abundances and discuss biological and technical parameters influencing the correlation of these central biological molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Codon / metabolism
  • Microarray Analysis / methods*
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Protein Biosynthesis*
  • Proteins / analysis*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / chemistry
  • Ribosomes / metabolism*
  • Systems Biology / methods*


  • Codon
  • Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger