amounts of RNA in human tissues?

Dom Spinella dspinella at
Fri May 2 09:36:59 EST 1997

Bruce Ritchings writes:
> Hi Folks,
> Straightforward question: If I isolate total RNA from different human
> tissues, how much RNA (in ug) should I expect to be able to recover? I'm
> sure there's a table of this somewhere, but I can't find one. The Red
> Book (Current Protocols) has a little info on cultured cells, but that's
> not what I need. The two tissues I definitely need to know about are
> cancerous prostate and non-cancerous prostate, but I'll also need a few
> others for reference, such as muscle, heart, brain. Can anyone point me
> in the right direction? Thanks, Bruce

Bruce:  According to a table I found in the Ambion catalog, 1g (wet
weight) of tissue or 5 x 10e8 cells contains ~2 mg of total RNA, ~1.6 mg
of rRNA, and ~60 ug of mRNA.  This is certainly in line with my
experience with cells and tissues over the years -- including prostate
tissue. I think that variation in RNA isolation techniques is a more
important contributor to yield variance among different tissues that is
actual difference in RNA content.   Hope that helps.
-- D.G. Spinella

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