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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Coupled reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) as a sensitive and rapid method for isozyme genotyping.

We have developed a highly sensitive and rapid coupled reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technique for detection of alpha-amylase-encoding gene transcripts and for distinguishing between the human salivary (AMY1) and pancreatic (AMY2) gene transcripts. The two genes are 93-94% homologous. However, the AMY1 gene has an additional exon known as exon S, and an extra 32 bp in exon 1. Genotyping of the different AMYs by RT-PCR was based on this unique feature of the AMY1 mRNA sequence. Detection of AMY gene (AMY1 and AMY2) transcripts in cellular RNA was achieved with a set of primers common to both human AMY1 and AMY2 genes and derived from the exon 3-4 regions. In contrast, AMY1 gene transcripts were distinguished from the pancreatic AMY2 gene transcripts by use of primers specific to the exon S-1 regions of the AMY1 gene. To distinguish AMY1 transcripts from a mixture of AMY1 and AMY2, use was made of the differences in the ethidium bromide-stained agarose gel patterns obtained after digestion of the amplified exon 3-4 fragments with TaqI. AMY gene transcripts were detectable by autoradiography in RT-PCR amplified DNA obtained from as little as 5 pg of human pancreatic or parotid total RNA. A comparison of sensitivity of Northern blotting vs. RT-PCR suggested that the RT-PCR method is about 3-6 x 10(3)-fold more sensitive than Northern blotting in detecting AMY gene transcripts in human pancreatic total RNA.[1]


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