WO2006033487A1 - Method for linear amplification of rna using high-heel primer - Google Patents

Method for linear amplification of rna using high-heel primer Download PDF

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WO2006033487A1
WO2006033487A1 PCT/KR2004/002414 KR2004002414W WO2006033487A1 WO 2006033487 A1 WO2006033487 A1 WO 2006033487A1 KR 2004002414 W KR2004002414 W KR 2004002414W WO 2006033487 A1 WO2006033487 A1 WO 2006033487A1
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rna
cdna
high
method according
primer
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PCT/KR2004/002414
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Sung Whan An
Chi Wang Yoon
Tae Jeong Oh
Dae Kyoung Yoon
Sun Woo Lee
Myung Soon Kim
Suk Kyung Woo
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Genomictree Inc.
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    • C12Q1/6844Nucleic acid amplification reactions
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    • C12Q1/00Measuring or testing processes involving enzymes, nucleic acids or microorganisms; Compositions therefor; Processes of preparing such compositions
    • C12Q1/68Measuring or testing processes involving enzymes, nucleic acids or microorganisms; Compositions therefor; Processes of preparing such compositions involving nucleic acids
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    • C12Q1/6853Nucleic acid amplification reactions using modified primers or templates
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    • C12Q2600/00Oligonucleotides characterized by their use
    • C12Q2600/158Expression markers

Abstract

The present invention relates to a method for the linear amplification of RNA using a high-heel primer, and more particularly to a method for the linear amplification of total RNA, which is characterized by that annealing and extension are performed at the same temperature using a high-heel primer. According to the inventive method, a DNA primer rather than an RNA primer is used to make a linear amplification process very stable. Also, the inventive method can easily amplify even a small amount of sample, since it shows a high correlation between RNAs of the same origin regardless of RNA amounts and purification methods. Furthermore, the inventive method allows a sufficient amount of target for microarray tests to be obtained from a nanogram level of total RNA by one linear amplification process using a high-heel primer. In addition, the inventive method can efficiently achieve linear amplification within a short time at a low cost as compared to prior methodology.

Description

METHOD FOR LINEAR AMPLIFICATION OF RNA USING HIGH-HEEL PRIMER

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a method for the linear amplification of RNA using a high-heel primer, and more particularly, to a method for the linear amplification of a small amount of RNA, in which annealing and extension are performed at the same temperature using a high-heel primer.

BACKGROUND ART

In the molecular diagnostic field, as the need increases to perform diagnosis on a small amount of sample, using non-invasively obtained samples such as stool, sputum and the like, rather than applying prior invasive methods, there is a correspondingly increasing need for technology to amplify a very small amount of sample.

Recently, there were reports that the amplification of RNA sample results in an increase in sensitivity and a decrease in technical variation, so as to improve the quality of test results, thereby facilitating more meaningful biological discovery (Park, PJ et al, J. Biotechnol, 112:225, 2004; Feldman, AL et al, Biotechniques, 33:906, 2002; Polacek, DC et al, Physiol Genomics, 13: 147, 2003; Kurn, N and Heath, JD, Genetic Engineering News, 24(3), 2004). As a result, a highly sensitive, standardized method for the amplification of RNA sample, which can be applied routinely regardless of sample, is necessary to perform successful microarray tests.

One of the most important considerations in a sample preparation process for diagnosis and the study of gene expression patterns is that the relative representation of all transcripts present in the sample must be efficiently performed regardless of a total RNA used. From this viewpoint, the linearity of an amplification method that is used is very important.

As an amplification method for preparing a microarray sample, an in vitro transcription method using a T7 polymerase-based primer is most generally used (van Gelder, RN et al., PNAS, 87: 1663, 1990; Glanzer, JG and Eberwine, JH, Br. J. Cancer, 90: 1111, 2004). Although this transcription method satisfies the amount required in a microarray test, it still has critical limitations that can deteriorate the quality of test data. First, since a test process is complex, time longer than 4 days may be required to prepare a microarray sample. Second, at least two amplification steps are required to obtain a sufficient amount of sample for microarray tests from less than lOOng of total RNA. In such amplification steps, many technical variations can occur. Furthermore, samples subjected to amplification steps of different numbers in relation to one another will provide targets of correspondingly different amounts, so as to cause an error between a larger amount of sample and a smaller amount of sample, thus reducing the reliability of test data.

There have been various attempts to develop effective linear amplification methods, but such attempts have not departed greatly from the T7 polymerase- based amplification method as described above. Recently, a new RNA amplification method using an isothermal enzyme was developed by Nugen Co. (WO 02/072772 A2; US 6,251,639Bl). This is a method of performing linear amplification using DNA/RNA primers and is advantageous in that it can amplify even a small amount (about Ing) of sample and has high reproducibility. However, it has a disadvantage in that it is too expensive to use as a standardized target preparation method for gene expression analysis, which generally requires large amounts of tests.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

Accordingly, the present inventors have conducted extensive studies to develop a more effective method for the linear amplification of a small amount of RNA sample, and consequently found that, when a high-heel primer is used and primer-template binding (annealing) and cDNA extension are performed at the same temperature, specificity and sensitivity can be maximized and RNA sample can be linearly amplified within a short time at a low cost, thereby perfecting the present invention.

Therefore, an object of the present invention is to provide a linear amplification method that allows a sufficient amount of target for microarray tests to be obtained from a small amount of RNA sample.

To achieve the above object, in one aspect, the present invention provides a method for the linear amplification of RNA, the method comprising the steps of: (a) adding a poly dT-high heel primer obtained by binding poly dT to the 3 '-terminal end of a high-heel primer to sample RNA, and then allowing the mixture to react at a temperature of 65-75 °C so as to anneal the poly dT-high heel primer with the poly-A portion of the sample RNA; (b) reacting the annealed sample with reverse transcriptase reactant so as to synthesize a cDNA, thus forming an RNA/cDNA hybrid; (c) reacting the formed RNA/cDNA hybrid with enzyme reactant including RNaseH, DNA polymerase and DNA ligase, so as to synthesize a double-stranded cDNA; and (d) adding a high-heel primer, dNTP and DNA polymerase to the double-stranded cDNA and subjecting the mixture to linear PCR amplification, in which annealing and extension are performed at a same temperature in a range of 65-750C.

In another aspect, the present invention provides a method for the linear amplification of RNA, the method comprising the steps of: (a) adding a poly dT-high heel primer obtained by binding poly dT to the 3 '-terminal end of a high-heel primer to sample RNA, and then allowing the mixture to react at a temperature of 65-75°C so as to anneal the poly dT-high heel primer with the poly-A portion of the sample RNA; (b) reacting the annealed sample with reverse transcriptase reactant so as to synthesize a cDNA, thus forming an RNA/cDNA hybrid; (c) adding an enzyme for removing the RNA from the RNA/cDNA hybrid to the formed RNA/cDNA hybrid, so as to cut the RNA from the hybrid; (d) reacting the remaining cDNA with DNA polymerase, dNTP and DNA ligase, so as to synthesize a double-stranded cDNA; and (e) adding a high-heel primer and DNA polymerase to the synthesized double- stranded cDNA and subjecting the mixture to linear PCR amplification, in which annealing and extension are performed at a same temperature in a range of 65-75°C.

In the preferred practice of the present invention, the high-heel primer is preferably represented by SEQ ID NO: 1, and the poly dT-high heel primer is preferably represented by SEQ ID NO: 2. The amount of the sample RNA is preferably nanogram level. The reverse transcriptase reactant preferably includes reverse transcriptase, dNTP mixture, and RNAsin which is an RNase inhibitor. The step of amplifying the double-stranded cDNA may additionally comprise adding aminoallyl-dUTP to the cDNA and labeling the cDNA with a monofunctional fluorescent substance. In the step of forming the RNA/cDNA hybrid, a portion excepting the poly dT in the poly dT-high heel primer is preferably not hybridized with RNA.

As used herein, the term "high-heel primer" is defined as an oligonucleotide with a Tm of 65-75°C and preferably 72°C, and a GC content of more than 70%.

The present invention relates to a method for the linear amplification of RNA using a high-heel primer, which is entirely different from the prior T7 polymerase-based amplification method. The inventive method not only allows a sufficient amount of target for microarray tests to be obtained from a nanogram level of total RNA by one linear amplification process, but also has high sensitivity. Moreover, the inventive method is not only time-efficient, but also convenient enough to apply routinely to a process for microarray sample preparation.

A high heel primer-based linear amplification system according to the present invention is suitably prepared as follows. To synthesize a first strand cDNA, a poly dT-high heel primer, obtained by binding poly dT to the 3 '-terminal end of a high-heel primer, is added to a sample RNA, and allowed to react at suitable elevated temperature, e.g., of 65 - 75°C, so as to anneal the poly dT- high heel primer with the poly-A portion of the sample RNA. The annealed sample is added with reverse transcriptase reactant and allowed to react, thus synthesizing a first strand cDNA.

Next, a reaction for synthesizing a second strand cDNA is performed. In this reaction, the first strand cDNA synthesized as described above is added with RNase H, E. coli DNA ligase, and DNA polymerase, so as to synthesize a double-stranded cDNA. In this regard, the RNase H specifically recognizes and cuts only RNA hybridized with DNA, and the resulting RNA fragments act as random primers, thus synthesizing the double-strand DNA.

The sense strand of the synthesized double-strand DNA is used as a template in a linear amplification step, in which this DNA contains the sequence of a high- heel primer at the 3 '-terminal end. For this reason, the double-strand DNA is added with a high-heel primer, dNTPs (dATP, dCTP, dGTP, dTTP, and aminoallyl-dUTP) and DNA polymerase, and subjected to linear PCR amplification, in which annealing and extension are performed at the same elevated temperature (65-75°C) so that the linear amplification of RNA can be efficiently achieved.

The high-heel primer-based amplification system according to the present invention has the following conveniences.

First, unlike the prior T7 polymerase-based amplification method, all the steps of synthesizing a target for microarray tests are based on DNA level. Furthermore, this system produces a stable single-strand cDNA as a final product, unlike the prior system, which produces an unstable RNA product that has the possibility of degradation. RNA products always have a risk that can cause a difference in gene expression between samples, due to nonspecific damage to labeled RNA during a process for sample preparation or storage, whereas stable DNA targets can minimize this risk.

Second, the inventive high-heel primer-based amplification system not only provides the relative representation of a difference in the expression of transcripts between samples different from each other in the most exact manner, but also minimizes an error in gene expression according to total RNA conditions and RNA amounts that are different from each other between the same samples, thus maintaining the reliability and linearity of tests.

Third, the inventive system is cost-effective as compared to any prior system. Specifically, in accordance with the present invention, a routine sample preparation system for microarray tests can be provided at a low cost without constructing a special system.

Fourth, the inventive system is highly time-efficient. Due to the convenience of its total system, the inventive system allows a sufficient amount of target for microarray tests to be obtained from a nanogram level of sample by only one amplification step without requiring additional time, thus minimizing technical error rates in test procedures. As described above, target preparation by methods different from each other has a risk that can cause a statistical error in an analysis process for microarray tests. For this reason, not only a small amount of sample, but also a sufficient amount of sample, is preferably tested by the same method. Furthermore, there are significant differences in the activity and labeling efficiency of enzyme, and in sensitivity and the like, between sample preparation methods. As a result, based on the above- described considerations, a routine, standardized sample preparation method can be considered necessary to eliminate technical variations.

Hereinafter, the inventive method for the linear amplification of cDNA from a small amount of RNA sample will be illustratively described in further detail.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating the inventive method for the linear amplification of cDNA from a small amount of RNA sample. As shown in FIG. 1, a poly dT-high heel primer is annealed in the poly-A portion of sample mRNA, and then a single-strand cDNA is synthesized from the annealed mRNA using reverse transcriptase.

The poly dT-high heel primer is a primer obtained by binding a CTG base and poly dT to the 5'- and 3 '-terminal ends of a high-heel primer used in linear amplification, respectively. The poly-dT portion has a base sequence of 3n+l

(n=5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10) bases, in which the (3n)th base is one base selected from the group consisting of A, G and C, and the (3n+l)th base is one base selected from the group consisting of A, T, G and C. The poly dT-high heel primer is annealed at a temperature, e.g., of 65-75°C and most preferably 72°C. When an RNA/cDNA hybrid is formed, a portion excepting the poly dT in the poly dT-high heel primer is not hybridized with RNA.

The formed RNA/cDNA hybrid is added with RNase H, E. coli DNA ligase, and DNA polymerase, so as to synthesize a double-strand cDNA. At this time, the RNase H specifically recognizes and cuts only RNA hybridized with DNA, and the resulting RNA fragments act as random primers, thus synthesizing the double-strand DNA.

The obtained double-stranded cDNA is added with a high heel primer and DNA polymerase and then subjected to linear amplification, thus obtaining a large amount of amplification products from a small amount of sample.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram showing the inventive method for the linear amplification of RNA using a high-heel primer. FIG. 2 shows the results of linear amplification for each lμg of total RNAs of a control group [293 (ATCC CRLl 573)] and a test group [HeLa (ATCC CCL2)] according to the present invention. (A) shows the confirmation of final products by agarose gel electrophoresis, and (B) shows the results of 17K cDNA microarray test on final products which have been purified and labeled with a fluorescent dye.

FIG. 3 shows the confirmation of reproducibility of the inventive linear amplification method for a small amount (l μg) of total RNA. (A) shows the results of 17K human cDNA microarray test on target which had been subjected to two independent linear amplification processes (1st & 2nd), and the results of the same microarray test only using a control group 293 (ATCC CRLl 573) RNA (yellow test). The left graph of (B) numerically shows the results of (A), and shows the correlation between two amplification tests (1st and 2nd amplifications) on selected 6928 genes that have a signal intensity of more than a given value in the two tests, and the right graph of (B) shows the correlation of test results on 293 (ATCC CRLl 573) RNA which have been coupled with Cy3 and Cy5 dyes.

FIG. 4 shows hybridization results for a control group [293 (ATCC CRLl 573)] and a test group [HeLa (ATCC CCL2)]. The left image of (A) shows an array where lOOμg of total RNA have been hybridized with directly labeled cDNA, and the right image shows the same section of an array where lμg of total RNA have been subjected to linear amplification and then hybridized with cDNA. (B) is a graphic diagram which numerically shows the correlation between test results for lOOμg of total RNA and linear amplification test results for 1 μg of total RNA. FIG. 5 shows microarray test results for each of amplification products which have been linearly amplified, for varying amounts (l μg, 5μg, lOμg and 20μg) of RNA.

FIG. 6 shows the sensitivity of the inventive linear amplification method. (A) shows microarray results for target obtained by subjecting nanogram level (200ng and 20ng) of RNA to linear amplification, and (B) is a graphic diagram that numerically shows the correlation between tests.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will hereinafter be described in further detail by examples. It will however be obvious to a person skilled in the art that these examples can be modified into various different forms and the present invention is not limited to or by the examples. These examples are presented to further illustrate the present invention.

Example 1; Synthesis of cDNA by reverse transcription reaction

2 μg of a poly dT-high heel primer of SEQ ID NO: 2 obtained by binding poly dT to the 3 '-terminal end of a high heel primer represented by SEQ ID NO: 1 was mixed with less than 1 μg of total RNA, and the mixture was allowed to react at 650C for 10 minutes so as to anneal the poly dT-high heel primer in the total RNA. Then, the annealed RNA was added with enzyme reactant including transcriptase (400 unit, Finzyme, Finland), dNTP mixture (1OmM, Solgent, Korea), RNAsin (5 unit, Promega, USA), and the like, and subjected to reverse transcription reaction at 42°C for 2 hours, so as to synthesize cDNA. In this step, an RNA/cDNA hybrid is formed. The primer of SEQ ID NO: 2 is the poly dT-high heel primer used in this Example. In this primer, V is one base selected from the group consisting of A, G and C, and N is one base selected from the group consisting of A, T, G and C.

SEQ ID NO: 1: 5'- CGC TGG GCC GAC CGG GCG CGG GAC-31 SEQ ID NO: 2: 5'- CTA CGC TGG GCC GAC CGG GCG CGG GAC TTT TTT TTT TTT TTT TTT TTV N-3'

Example 2: Synthesis of double-stranded cDNA

To the RNA/cDNA hybrid synthesized in Example 1, enzyme reactant including RNase H (2 unit, Invitrogen, USA), DNA polymerase (40 unit, Invitrogen, USA), DNA ligase (6 unit, Invitrogen, USA), dNTP mixture (1OmM, Invitrogen, USA) and the like, was added, and the mixture was allowed to react at 16°C for 2 hours, so as to synthesize a double-stranded cDNA. Then, the synthesized cDNA was treated with 7.5 μl of IM NaOH/2mM EDTA at 65°C for 10 minutes.

In order to extract only synthesized double-stranded cDNA, lOOμl of a solution of the synthesized sample in nuclease-free water was mixed with 200μl of PCI (25:24: 1, Sigma, USA) in a phase-lock gel tube (Eppendorf, Germany), and the mixture was centrifuged at 13,000 rpm for 5 minutes. The aqueous phase was transferred into a fresh tube, and precipitated at -7O0C for 5 minutes by the addition of 0.5 parts of 7.5M ammonium acetate, lμl of linear acrylamide and 2.5 parts of EtOH, followed by centrifugation at 13,000 rpm for 15 minutes. The resulting material was washed with 500μl of EtOH, and EtOH was removed, after which the remaining material was dried. Then, the dried material was dissolved in lOμl of nuclease-free water. Example 3; Linear amplification

The double stranded cDNA extracted in Example 2 was added with 2μg of a high-heel primer of SEQ ID NO: 1 (Bioneer, Korea) and enzyme reactant including Taq polymerase (5 unit, Solgent, Korea), dNTP (1OmM dATP,

1OmM dCTP, 1OmM dGTP, 2mM dTTP, and 8mM aminoallyl-dUTP) and the like and subjected to linear PCR amplification. The PCR amplification consisted of denaturation at 94°C for 10 minutes, followed by 35 cycles of 45 seconds at 94°C and 2 minutes at 72°C, and then extension at 72°C for 5 minutes. The linear PCR amplification product was isolated and purified with a PCR purification kit (Intron, Inc., Korea).

As defined herein, the high heel primer used above is a primer which is designed to be annealed at a temperature of 65-750C and preferably 72°C.

Also, it can optimize a linear amplification process since the efficiency of Taq polymerase is maximized at 72°C. Also, it can eliminate the risk of exponential amplification since the high heel primer is annealed at high temperature. In addition, it can increase the time efficiency of the process, since the annealing of the high-heel primer and the extension of cDNA to be synthesized can occur at the same time.

Example 4: Application to microarray

The cDNA sample which had been linearly amplified in Example 3 was concentrated with Microcon-30 (Millipore, USA) until its volume reaches lOμl. Then, the concentrated sample was mixed with fluorescent material (Cy-3 and/or Cy-5), and reacted with 0.5μl of IM NaHCO3 (pH 9.0) in a dark place for 1 hour. The reaction mixture was quenched with 4.5μl of 4M hydroxylamine for 15 minutes in a dark place. The fluorescence-labeled cDNA was isolated and purified again with a PCR purification kit (Intron, Inc., Korea).

The isolated and purified cDNA was added with 20μl of human cot-1 (2 μg/μl, Invitrogen, USA), 2μl of poly A (20 μg/μl, Sigma, USA) and 2μl of yeast tRNA (20 μg/μl, Invitrogen, USA), and then concentrated with Microcon-30 (Millipore, Inc., USA) until it reaches a suitable volume. The concentrated sample was transferred into a fresh tube, and titrated to the final hybridization volume, and then mixed with 5X SSC, 0.1% SDS, and 30-50% formamide. The resulting sample was denatured at 100°C for 2 minutes, and then subjected to a microarray test.

The microarray test may also be performed by inserting a monofunctional fluorescent material during the linear amplification process. In particular; the obtained double-stranded cDNA may also be applied to a microarray of various platforms by inserting Cy-3-dUTP/Cy-5-dUTP into the sites between which cDNA is synthesized, so as to label the cDNA with each fluorescent color.

Example 5; Linear amplification of small amount of RNA

Each lμg of total RNA of a control group [293 (ATCC CRLl 573)] and a test group [HeLa (ATCC CCL2)] was subjected to linear amplification by the inventive method (FIG. 2). In FIG. 2, (A) shows the results of 1% agarose gel electrophoresis for 0.1 part of the total amount of the final products. As shown in FIG. 2(A), a main product had about a 500bp size, and other products had various sizes ranging from about 300bp to about 1.3kb. FIG. 2(B) shows the results of 17K cDNA microarray (GenomicTree, Inc., Korea) tests for final products which have been purified and coupled with a fluorescent dye. Specifically, FIG. 2(B) shows images obtained by coupling the control group sample and the test group sample with a green color dye (Cy- 3, Amersham, England) and a red color dye (Cy-5, Amersham, England), respectively, and applying the labeled samples on a human 17K microarray, and then scanning the applied samples. As shown in FIG. 2(B), almost all genes on the microarray were covered.

From such results, it could be found that almost all transcripts present in the sample are uniformly amplified. This suggests that transcripts with the minimum copy number cannot be confirmed for their expression by the prior method, but can be efficiently amplified and detected by the inventive linear amplification method.

Example 6; Reproducibility

A small amount (lμg) of total RNA was amplified by the inventive linear amplification method, and the inventive method was confirmed for its reproducibility (FIG. 3). The test was independently conducted twice using RNA from the same origin, and the yellow test was independently conducted only using RNA from 293 cell (ATCC CRLl 573).

In FIG. 3, (A) shows not only the results of a test where target which had been subjected to two independent linear amplifications (1st & 2nd) was applied on a 17K human cDNA microarray (GenomicTree, Inc., Korea), but also the results of a yellow test where a control group RNA from 293 cell (ATCC CRLl 573) alone was applied on the same microarray. As shown in FIG. 3(A), it could be found that two independent test images were very much consistent with each other, and the results of the yellow test showed that RNA was amplified in almost the same manner regardless of a difference in the dyes (Cy-3 and Cy-5). It is already known that the difference of dyes results in a variety in labeling efficiency, and there were several attempts to overcome errors resulting from this variety.

In FIG. 3(B), the left graph numerically shows the results of FIG. 3(A). 6928 genes showing a signal intensity of more than a given value in the two tests (1st and 2nd amplifications) were selected. The correlation between the two tests which had been independently conducted was examined using the selected genes, and the results showed a high reproducibility of about 0.99. These results indicate that the inventive method has a very excellent reproducibility as compared to the other prior method. Furthermore, the right graph of FIG. 3(B) shows the correlation between the results of a yellow test using the 293 (ATCC CRLl 573) RNA sample coupled with Cy3 and using the 293 (ATCC CRLl 573) RNA sample coupled with Cy5 dyes. The yellow test results showed that the Cy3[293(ATCC CRLl 573) sample] and the Cy5[293(ATCC CRL1573) sample], which used different dyes in relation to one another have 0.987 of correlation, indicating that the inventive method has little or no variability with a change in dyes.

As a result, it could be found that the inventive linear amplification method not only shows excellent reproducibility but also minimizes variety, such as a difference in dyes, the efficiency of enzyme and the like, which can occur in tests.

Example 7: Linearity

In order to verify the linearity of the inventive linear amplification method, control group [293(ATCC CRLl 573)] and test group [HeLa (ATCC CCL2)] samples which had been labeled by different methods were hybridized and the results were analyzed (FIG. 4). As already described above, one of the most important considerations in a sample preparation process for the study of expression patterns of a large amount of genes is that the relative representation of all transcripts present in the sample must be efficiently and reproducibly performed regardless of the total amount of RNA used. For this reason, the linearity of amplification methods is very important.

In FIG. 4(A), the left image shows an array where lOOμg of total RNA have been hybridized with directly labeled cDNA, and the right image shows the same section of an array where lμg of total RNA have been subjected to linear amplification by the method of the present invention and then hybridized with cDNA. FIG. 4(B) is a graphic diagram which numerically shows the comparison of correlation between the results of the test using lOOμg of total RNA and the results of the test using lμg of linearly amplified RNA. The linearity in FIG. 4(B) was 0.938.

As can be seen in (A) and (B) of FIG. 4, the results of the case where lOOμg of directly labeled total RNA have been hybridized were highly consistent with the results of the case where 1 μg of total RNA was linearly amplified and then hybridized.

Furthermore, as shown in Table 1, the results of a test using lOOμg of total RNA were compared to the results of a test using 1 μg of linearly amplified RNA. 2542 genes meaningful in each of the tests were selected and the value of the correlation between the two tests was examined using the selected genes. The results provide evidence that the linear amplification method according to the present invention has high linearity. This indicates that the inventive linear amplification method provides the relative representation of a difference in the expression of transcripts between each of different samples in a very exact manner.

Table 1

Figure imgf000018_0001

Example 8: Changes in expression pattern and signal intensity according to the amount of RNA

In order to examine if expression pattern and signal intensity are changed depending on the amount of RNA, varied amounts (lμg, 5μg, lOμg and 20μg) of control group [293 (ATCC CRLl 573)] and test group [HeLa (ATCC

CCL2)] sample RNAs were linearly amplified by the inventive method, hybridized to a 17K human cDNA microarray (GenomicTree, Inc., Korea), and then examined for their images (FIG. 5). As depicted in FIG. 5, the results showed that signal intensity was maintained constant regardless of the amount of initial sample RNA used in the test, and additionally the expression pattern was maintained constant.

Moreover, as shown in Table 2, 3,153 genes meaningful in each test were selected and the correlation between the tests using 5μg, lOμg and 20μg of

RNA, respectively, was examined based on a case where 1 μg of RNA was used. The results showed a high correlation between the tests. These results provide evidence that the inventive linear amplification method shows a high correlation between RNAs of the same origin regardless of the amount and purification method of RNA. RNA is generally very unstable unlike DNA, and thus, a possibility of nonspecific damages to sample RNA as a result of sample purification, labeling processing or storage processing is very high. For this reason, it cannot be assured that the amount of RNA of control group and comparative group samples at the initial stage of tests exactly agrees, and it is impossible to conduct measurements. Furthermore, in clinical samples processed by methods such as microdisection, there are many cases in which it is difficult to even measure the amount of RNA in order to start a test. Accordingly, it is very important to minimize the effect of such factors that affect the variability of test results. As shown in FIG. 5 and Table 2, the inventive method shows excellent results and can minimize variability caused by other factors than samples.

Table 2

Figure imgf000019_0001

Example 9: Sensitivity

In order to examine the sensitivity of the inventive linear amplification method, each amount of sample RNAs of control group [293 (ATCC CRLl 573)] and test group [HeLa (ATCC CCL2)] was diluted, and each of 200ng and 20ng of the samples was linearly amplified. The amplified targets then were hybridized to a 17K human cDNA microarray (GenomicTree, Inc., Korea) and examined for their images (FIG. 6).

As shown in FIG. 6(A), the results provide evidence that even 20ng of RNA can be successfully amplified and detected. The test results using 200ng RNA and the test results using 20ng RNA were compared in terms of correlation coefficient, and the comparison result showed a generally high correlation of 0.88 (right graph of FIG. 6 (B). Furthermore, the test results using 20ng RNA was compared with the test results using 1 μg RNA of the same origin, and the comparison result showed a high correlation of 0.89, indicating that the inventive method has excellent linearity (left graph of FIG. 6 (B)).

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

As described above in detail, the inventive linear amplification method allows a sufficient amount of target for microarray tests to be obtained from a nanogram level of total RNA by one linear amplification process using only one high-heel primer. Also, the inventive method has high sensitivity and can achieve linear amplification in a short time at a lower cost as compared to the prior linear amplification method. Furthermore, since the inventive method uses a DNA primer rather than using an RNA primer, it has an advantage that a linear amplification process is stable. Also, since the inventive method shows a high correlation between RNAs of the same origin regardless of varieties resulting from differences in RNA amounts and dyes, it is very useful in diagnosis with a small amount of sample. Also, since the amplification results of the inventive method are stable, the inventive method is useful in amplifying and detecting a very small amount of RNA from either samples by microdisection or paraffin block samples.

The present invention is very useful in fields which the amplification technology for a small amount of sample is necessarily required. Examples of such fields include DNA microarray tests using a small amount of sample RNA to discover markers of diseases, tests requiring high sensitivity, such as the establishment of gene expression mechanisms, molecular diagnosis using DNA or RNA expression, toxicogenomic studies and pharmacogenomic studies.

While the present invention has been described with reference to particular illustrative embodiments, it is not to be restricted by such embodiments but only by the appended claims. It is to be appreciated that those skilled in the art can change or modify the embodiments herein disclosed without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.

Claims

THE CLAIMSWhat is Claimed is:
1. A method for the linear amplification of RNA, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) adding a poly dT-high heel primer obtained by binding poly dT to the 3 '-terminal end of a high-heel primer to sample RNA, and then allowing the mixture to react at a temperature of 65-750C so as to anneal the poly dT- high heel primer with the poly- A portion of the sample RNA;
(b) reacting the annealed sample with reverse transcriptase reactant so as to synthesize a cDNA, thus forming an RNA/cDNA hybrid;
(c) reacting the formed RNA/cDNA hybrid with enzyme reactant including RNaseH, DNA polymerase and DNA ligase, so as to synthesize a double-stranded cDNA; and
(d) adding a high-heel primer, dNTP and DNA polymerase to the double-stranded cDNA and subjecting the mixture to linear PCR amplification, in which annealing and extension are performed at a same temperature in a range of 65-750C.
2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the high-heel primer is represented by SEQ ID NO: 1, and the poly dT-high heel primer is represented by SEQ ID NO: 2.
3. The method according to claim 1, wherein the amount of sample RNA is 1 βg or less.
4. The method according to claim 1, wherein the reverse transcriptase reactant includes reverse transcriptase, dNTP mixture, and RNAsin.
5. The method according to claim 1, wherein the step (d) of amplifying the double-stranded cDNA additionally comprises adding aminoallyl-dUTP to the cDNA and labeling the cDNA with a monofunctional fluorescent substance.
6. The method according to claim 1, wherein the annealing and extension in the step (d) is performed at 720C.
7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the hybrid with the RNA is not formed at a portion excepting the poly dT in the poly dT-high heel primer, in the step of forming the RNA/cDNA hybrid.
8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the DNA polymerase in step (d) comprises Taq polymerase.
9. A method for the linear amplification of RNA, the method comprising the steps of:
(a) adding a poly dT-high heel primer obtained by binding poly dT to the 3 '-terminal end of a high-heel primer to sample RNA, and then allowing the mixture to react at a temperature of 65-75°C so as to anneal the poly dT- high heel primer with the poly- A portion of the sample RNA;
(b) reacting the annealed sample with reverse transcriptase reactant so as to synthesize a cDNA, thus forming an RNA/cDNA hybrid;
(c) adding an enzyme for removing the RNA from the RNA/cDNA hybrid to the formed RNA/cDNA hybrid, so as to cut the RNA from the hybrid;
(d) reacting the remaining cDNA with DNA polymerase, dNTP and DNA ligase, so as to synthesize a double-stranded cDNA; and
(e) adding a high-heel primer and DNA polymerase to the synthesized double-stranded cDNA and subjecting the mixture to linear PCR amplification, in which annealing and extension are performed at a same temperature in a range of 65-75°C.
10. The method according to claim 9, wherein the high-heel primer is represented by SEQ ID NO: 1, and the poly dT-high heel primer is represented by SEQ ID NO: 2.
11. The method according to claim 9, wherein the amount of sample RNA is lμg or less.
12. The method according to claim 9, wherein the reverse transcriptase reactant includes transcriptase, dNTP mixture, and RNAsin.
13. The method according to claim 9, wherein the step (e) of amplifying the double-stranded cDNA additionally comprises adding aminoallyl-dUTP to the cDNA and labeling the cDNA with a monofunctional fluorescent substance.
14. The method according to claim 9, wherein the annealing and extension in the step (e) are performed at 720C.
15. The method according to claim 9, wherein the enzyme for removing the RNA from the RNA/cDNA hybrid comprises RNaseH.
16. The method according to claim 9, wherein the hybrid with the RNA is not formed at a portion excepting the poly dT in the poly dT-high heel primer, in the step of forming the RNA/cDNA hybrid.
17. The method according to claim 9, wherein the DNA polymerase in step (e) comprises Taq polymerase.
PCT/KR2004/002414 2004-09-21 2004-09-21 Method for linear amplification of rna using high-heel primer WO2006033487A1 (en)

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