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Detection of MicroRNAs by Northern Blot

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MicroRNA Detection and Target Identification

Part of the book series: Methods in Molecular Biology ((MIMB,volume 2630))


Small RNAs (sRNAs) are key regulators of transcriptomes and proteomes of organisms through their sequence-specific interaction with complementary RNA targets. sRNAs can be classified according to their origin and mode of action into different classes such as: microRNAs (miRNAs), small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) and PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs). The abundance and specific spatio-temporal expression of many sRNAs, especially miRNAs, is relevant for their biological function. Northern blotting is a widely used technique to study sRNAs because it is quantitative, relatively inexpensive, and readily available for most laboratories. This chapter describes the protocols for radioactive and non-radioactive sRNA Northern blot analysis, which includes RNA extraction, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, membrane transfer, hybridisation and detection of sRNA using oligonucleotide probes. The protocol is described to prepare most of the reagents needed in the lab, but also timesaving commercial reagent alternatives are included. Suggestions and nuances obtained from experience are included as Notes.

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SLG is a Senior Broodbank Research Fellow.

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Correspondence to Sara Lopez-Gomollon .

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Martinho, C., Lopez-Gomollon, S. (2023). Detection of MicroRNAs by Northern Blot. In: Dalmay, T. (eds) MicroRNA Detection and Target Identification. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 2630. Humana, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Humana, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-0716-2981-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-0716-2982-6

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