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RNA Mapping pp 173–178Cite as

Identification of Actively Translated mRNAs

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB,volume 1182)


Ribosomes are large protein–RNA complexes involved in translation of mRNA nucleotide sequences into proteins. Multiple ribosomes, polyribosomes (polysomes), bind to a single mRNA in order to initiate translation and protein synthesis. In order to distinguish actively translated RNAs, total polysomes can be isolated from cell lysates and purified by centrifugation through sucrose density gradients. The polysome fraction represents all actively translated cellular RNAs that can be specifically detected using common RNA detection assays, e.g., RT-PCR. The quantity of the target RNA in polysomes fraction indicates its translation state. This chapter provides a protocol for the isolation and fractionation of polysomes from mammalian cell lines.

Key words

  • Ribosome
  • Polysomes
  • Ribosomal subunits
  • Sucrose density gradient
  • Optical density

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1062-5_14
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Correspondence to Mahtab Nourbakhsh Sc.D., Ph.D. .

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Reboll, M.R., Nourbakhsh, M. (2014). Identification of Actively Translated mRNAs. In: Alvarez, M., Nourbakhsh, M. (eds) RNA Mapping. Methods in Molecular Biology, vol 1182. Humana Press, New York, NY.

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  • Publisher Name: Humana Press, New York, NY

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4939-1061-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4939-1062-5

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