Neil Saunders saunders at bio.vu.nl
Sat Aug 29 12:46:42 EST 1998

> I'm starting to work with RNA-Gels. But I haven't got any idea if it's
> possible to SEE mRNA on an agarose-ethidiume-bromide-gel. I see two
> spots and I'm sure that is the rRNA. I induce a typical genexpression,
> but I'm not sure if it's possible to see some difference between control
> and stimulated cells.
> Please send me an answer, and if possible an example image.
> Thanks in advance.
>                Steffen Scholpp


I only speak from experience using prokaryotic RNA, but on an agarose
(presumably formaldehyde?) gel stained with ethidium bromide, you would
normally see two bright bands that in prokaryotes are the 23S and 16S rRNA's
(28S and 18S for eukaryotes), and sometimes a lower "blob" representing low
MW rRNA (e.g. 5S), depending on the extraction method. mRNA only makes up
1-2% of total RNA, so this is sometimes visible as a very faint smear in the
background, at higher loadings. I wouldn't expect to be able to see
differences in mRNA on this type of gel; normally a specific labelled gene
probe is required. I could send you an image/more details if you like.

Neil Saunders

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