By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Gene expression is a highly regulated mechanism that controls the function and adaptability of all living cells including prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Several techniques exist for studying and quantifying gene expression and its regulation. Some of these techniques are old and well established while others are relatively new, multiplex techniques.
The field of gene expression analysis has undergone major advances in biomedical research. Traditional methods focused on measuring the expression of one gene at a time and not in any particular biological context. However, today, mRNA expression techniques have led to improvements in gene identification and disease sub-classification, for example.
Gene expression techniques
Analytical methods may be used to examine mRNA expression levels or differential mRNA expression.
Some examples of these techniques are listed below:
- Techniques that are low- to mid-plex include:
- Reporter gene
- Northern blotting
- Western blotting
- Fluorescent in situ hybridization
- Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)
- Techniques that are higher plex include
- DNA microarray
- RNA Seq
- Tiling array
In most cases, gene expression analysis involves both DNA and RNA quantification and a combination of these methods.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2014