mRNA level and protein level correlation?

Greg Pankhurst g.pankhurst at
Sun Mar 21 23:38:39 EST 2004

Peter Frank <peter_frankde at> wrote:

> In order to compare two systems (treated vs untreated) I quantitated
> the mRNA level of my target gene using real-time PCR and quantitated
> the protein level using quantitative Western blotting.
> According to the real-time RT-PCR results the mRNA level is around
> 3-fold higher in the treated system compared to the untreated system.
> According to the quantitative Western blotting results the protein
> level is only around 1.6-fold higher in the treated system compared to
> the untreated system.
> I would rather have expected to get the same or even higher fold
> change in protein level. The incubation time after the treatment was
> 24 h. The target protein is a transcription factor and I would expect
> such a protein to be synthesized relatively quickly.
> Does anyone have any idea why there is such a discrepancy between the
> changes in mRNA level and protein level (i.e. considerably lower
> changes in protein level than in mRNA level)?

There's a good TIBS paper from a couple of years back that dealt with
the lack of correlation between mRNA and protein's the

Translation control: bridging the gap between genomics and proteomics? 

Bérengère Pradet-Baladea, Florence Boulméb, Hartmut Beugc, Ernst W.
Müllnerb and Jose A. Garcia-Sanz, a 


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