PNAS Publication Demonstrates Power of Molecular Indexing™ Technology for Tracking RNA Molecules in RNA-Seq Library Preparation

rna-seqPALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Cellular Research, Inc., today announced that its Molecular Indexing™ technology enables the absolute quantification of the starting copy number of an expressed gene, or RNA transcript, in an RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) library. Data were published in the February 4, 2014 print edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and the article is currently available online.

RNA-Seq has become an extremely important tool for measuring relative changes in gene expression in a sample. Understanding which genes are up- or down-regulated in a cell or tissue sample can help researchers gain insights into processes such as development and also gain greater knowledge about the genomic drivers of disease. To carry out RNA-Seq experiments, scientists build cDNA libraries that theoretically capture all of the expressed genes in a particular sample.

However, in the paper scientists applied Molecular Indexing to determine that standard methods of library preparation for RNA-Seq are extremely inefficient, resulting in significant losses of starting material. In one illustrative experiment, for every 1,000 copies of a control transcript in the starting sample, only between one and six copies were present in the corresponding sequencing library. This loss of starting material can skew results and eliminate sequencing detection of rare RNA transcripts, potentially undermining results.

“This work is important because it shows that Molecular Indexing technology directly identifies the absolute RNA representation efficiencies in cDNA libraries for sequencing studies,” noted Glenn Fu, Ph.D, Senior Scientist and co-founder of Cellular Research. “Secondly, it demonstrates the ability of Molecular Indexing to correct for PCR and sequencing biases and reveal true gene expression profiles.”

In addition to its application for quality control of the cDNA inputs for RNA-Seq, Cellular Research’s technology, which includes Molecular Indexing and the Pixel™ system, to understand the actual value and data quality obtained from sequencing runs.

About Cellular Research
Cellular Research, Inc., is a new biotechnology research and development company founded in 2011 by innovators from Silicon Valley and Stanford University. Our mission is to revolutionize life science research by enabling high resolution investigation of single cells and limited samples, thereby creating new benchmarks and delivering new capabilities.

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