• Gel electrophoresis 'important' for quantitative analysis of RNA
    The role of gel electrophoresis has been stressed in the quantitative analysis of RNA

Electrophoretic Separations

Gel electrophoresis 'important' for quantitative analysis of RNA

Jun 04 2010

The quantitative analysis of RNA relies heavily on the technique of gel electrophoresis, according to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.

In its upcoming issue, the publisher of the journal Cold Spring Harbor Protocols looks at gel electrophoresis and its different applications in quantitative analysis of RNA.

These range from quality assessment to purification by size, as well as detection of specific elements.

Acrylamide gels are suitable for the widest variety of these applications; however, these are not suitable for large RNAs.

For samples above 600 nucleotides, agarose gels are typically used instead.

The article's authors note that the length of RNA can appear distorted during gel electrophoresis as its topology can make the chain look longer than it actually is.

However, with the mass of the sample generally related to the length of the chain, migration can be useful in determining the length of RNA analysed.

Gel electrophoresis is therefore described by the authors as "perhaps the most important - and certainly the most often used - technique in RNA analysis".

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