Invitrogen launches microarray to study non-coding RNA

20 November 2008

Invitrogen Corporation (NASDAQ:IVGN) has announced the launch of the first high-density microarray for the profiling of non-coding RNAs. The NCode Human and Mouse non-coding RNA microarrays consist of both non-coding RNA and messenger RNA (mRNA) content on the same array. The arrays are designed by Invitrogen and then manufactured by Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) using the company’s proprietary SurePrint technology.

Transcription, or the synthesis of RNA as directed by DNA, involves not only mRNA corresponding to the genes that are translated into proteins, but also tens of thousands of long non-protein-coding RNAs. These non-coding RNAs appear to comprise a vast hidden layer of genetic programming implicated in development and disease pathways in mammals.

“Non-coding RNA transcripts play a variety of roles in a cell, ranging from simple housekeeping to complex regulatory functions, and evidence is mounting that their expression is perturbed in many cancers,” said John Mattick, PhD, Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland, Australia. “Because their function remains largely unknown, these transcripts represent a new frontier of molecular genetic, molecular biological, physiological and cell biological research.”

The NCode non-coding RNA microarrays contain sequences of RNA that do not code for proteins along with sequences of RNA corresponding to mRNAs, which are translated into proteins in a cell. The non-coding sequences were generated and subsequently validated by Professor Mattick’s team at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, and exclusively licensed by Invitrogen.

“When we talked to scientists about their interest in studying non-coding RNA, many told us they wanted a microarray that consisted of both mRNA and non-coding RNA content, which would help them elucidate the function of specific non-coding RNAs in relation to known pathways of gene expression,” said Amy Butler, Vice President of Gene Expression Profiling for Invitrogen. “We answered with an array-based solution, exclusive to Invitrogen, that has tens of thousands of coding and non-coding sequences which could answer multiple scientific questions with a single experiment.”

Because the NCode non-coding RNA microarrays include thousands of individual sequences, they must be spotted very densely on a glass slide. To meet this density requirement, Invitrogen partnered with Agilent to use Agilent’s proprietary SurePrint technology to manufacture the NCode non-coding RNA microarrays. Invitrogen will market and distribute the product.

“The precision and flexibility of Agilent’s Sureprint technology enables an unmatched level of performance and quality that is essential to conduct array-based gene expression research,” noted Yvonne Linney, PhD, Agilent vice president and general manager, Genomics. “By selecting SurePrint technology to manufacture this new array for research use, Invitrogen is ensuring the consistent performance of the NCode non-coding microarrays.”

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