The technique, which pairs RIKEN’s Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) protocol with the Helicos® Genetic Analysis System developed by Helicos BioSciences Corporation, opens the door to the detailed analysis of gene expression networks and rare cell populations.
In recent years, next-generation DNA sequencers have produced an increasingly detailed picture of how genes are expressed at the molecular level. The transcriptional output of these genes – the RNA copies produced from DNA – has revealed a richness of complexity in transcript structure and function, providing insights into the molecular-level properties of cancers and other diseases.
One of the most powerful methods for analyzing RNA transcripts is the Cap Analysis of Gene Expression (CAGE) protocol developed at the RIKEN OSC. A unique approach, CAGE enables not only high-throughput gene expression profiling, but also simultaneous identification of transcriptional start sites (TSS) specific to each tissue, cell or condition.
With HeliScopeCAGE, the OSC research team has adapted the existing CAGE protocol for use with the revolutionary HeliScopeTM Single Molecule Sequencer. Unlike earlier sequencers, the HeliScope Sequencer does not employ polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to multiply a small number of DNA strands for analysis, a process which can introduce biases into data. Instead, the HeliScope Sequencer actually sequences the DNA strand itself, enabling direct, high-precision measurement.In a paper published in Genome Research, RIKEN researchers confirm that this direct approach reduces biases and generates highly reproducible data from between 5 micrograms to as little as 100 nanograms of total RNA. A comparison using a leukemia cell line (THP-1) and a human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa) further shows that results from the technique are closely correlated to those from traditional microarray analysis. By making possible high-precision gene expression analysis from tiny samples, HeliScopeCAGE greatly expands the scope of research at the OSC, strengthening the institute’s role in Japan as a hub for next-generation genome analysis.
Here at the RIKEN Omics Science Center, we are developing a versatile analysis system, called the “Life Science Accelerator (LSA)”, with the objective of advancing omics research. LSA is a multi-purpose, large-scale analysis system that rapidly analyzes molecular networks. It collects various genome-wide data at high throughput from cells and other biological materials, comprehensively analyzes experimental data, and thereby aims to elucidate the molecular networks of the sample. The term “accelerator” was chosen to emphasize the strong supporting role that this system will play in supporting and accelerating life science research worldwide.
Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University
Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.
Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
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