Date: May 25, 1998
Author: Laura DeFrancesco
How many different ways are there to isolate messenger RNA (mRNA)? You can bind it to oligo(dT) cellulose in a slurry, bind it to oligo(dT) on columns, bind it to oligo(dT) attached to latex beads, or bind it to oligo(dT) on magnetic particles. Get the picture? Oligo(dT) is clearly the key to mRNA isolations. And why is that? Considering that mRNA is only one to two percent of the total RNA of a cell, and to make matters worse, is heterogeneous in size, without oligo(dT), and the polyA tails on the messages to which it binds, it's hard to imagine how mRNAs would ever be isolated. In fact, before oligo(dT) came into being, only messages that were either very abundant, like ß-globin in reticulocytes, or very unusual, like the messages for silk fibroin proteins that have an unusual base sequence, had...

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