Molecular Biotechnology

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 261–267 | Cite as

Differential display

A general protocol
  • Peng LiangEmail author
  • Arthur B. Pardee


Characterization of regulated gene expression in eukaryotic cells is essential for studying cell growth and differentiation as well as for understanding the molecular mechanisms of diseases. Differential display was developed for such comparative studies by allowing a systematic and nonbiased screening for molecular differences at the level of mRNA expression between or among different cells or tissues. The essence of the method is to amplify messenger RNA 3′ termini using a pair of anchored oligo-dT primer and a short primer with an arbitrary sequence. The amplified cDNAs labeled with radioisotope are then distributed on a denaturing polyacrylamide gel and visualized by autoradiography. Side-by-side comparison of mRNA species from two or more related samples allows identification of both up- and downregulation genes of interest. Some of the most recent improvements have been incorporated into this general protocol for differential display.

Index Entries

Differential display differential gene expression PCR cloning 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Liang, P. and Pardee, A. B. (1992) Differential display of eukaryotic messenger RNA by means of the polymerase chain reaction.Science 257, 967–971.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Welsh, J., Chada, K., Dalal, S. S., Cheng, R., Ralph, D., and McClelland, M. (1992) Arbitrarily primed PCR fingerprinting of RNA.Nucleic Acids Res. 20, 4965–4970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Liang, P., Zhu, W., Zhang, X., Guo, Z., O’Connell, R. P., Averboukh, L., Wang, F., and Pardee, A. B. (1994) Differential display using one-base anchored oligo dT primers.Nucleic Acids Res. 22, 5763,5764.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Liang, P. Averboukh, L., and Pardee, A. B. (1993) Distribution and cloning of eukaryotic mRNAs by means of differential display: refinements and optimization.Nucleic Acids Res. 21, 3269–3275.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ausubel, F., Brent, R., Kingston, R. E., Moore, D. D., Seidman, J. G., Smith, J. A., and Struhl, K. (1988)Current Protocols in Molecular Biology, Greene and Wiley-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Zhang, H., Zhang, R., and Liang, P. (1996) Differential screening of gene expression difference enriched by differential display.Nucleic Acids Res. 24, 2454–2456.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Trentmann, S. M., Knaap, E., Kende, H., Liang, P., and Pardee A. B. (1995) Alternatives to35S as a label for the differential display of eukaryotic messenger RNA.Science 267, 1186,1187.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vanderbilt Cancer Center, 649 MRB IINashville

Personalised recommendations