RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) enables the profiling of the transcriptome of cells where mRNA generated by transcription would be sequenced to yield the identities of the transcripts. Thus, RNA-seq provides a comprehensive view of gene expression since it has access to both protein-based transcripts as well as non-protein (i.e., RNA) transcripts. Such capability meant that RNA-seq offer a unique perspective unavailable to the more conventional tool of protein microarray which has been used in understanding differential gene expression in cells.
Comparing RNA-seq and protein microarray, the latter offers more accessibility as it does not require the use of expensive sequencing instruments typically available in large sequencing facilities. However, creation of a dedicated protein microarray is difficult and expensive. This meant that protein microarray may not necessarily has a cost advantage compared to RNA-seq.
Overall, increasing adoption of RNA-seq by mainstream biologists in different fields investigating different questions meant that the approach is gaining popularity as the default method for understanding gene expression and profiling the transcriptome. Protein microarray, on the other hand, still retain utility in certain niche applications where testing the binding between a protein target and a ligand is important.
Category: biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology,
Tags: RNA sequencing, transcriptome, protein microarray, binding, RNA transcripts, protein transcripts, mRNA transcripts,