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Formaldehyde Gel Electrophoresis of Total RNA

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Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB,volume 86)


RNA has the tendency to form both secondary and tertiary structures that can Impede its separation by electrophoresis. As such, identical species of RNA exhibiting varying degrees of intramolecular base-pairing, migrate at different rates and result in the smearing of distinct RNA molecules. Consequently, the electrophoresis of RNA needs to be performed under denaturing conditions. Heat denaturing the RNA sample prior to electrophoresis is insufficient, as secondary structures will simply reform unless a denaturing system is used.


  • Bromophenol Blue
  • Fume Hood
  • Propanesulfonic Acid
  • Ethidium Bromide Solution
  • Localize Smear

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  • DOI: 10.1385/0-89603-494-1:69
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© 1998 Humana Press Inc.

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Bryant, S., Manning, D.L. (1998). Formaldehyde Gel Electrophoresis of Total RNA. In: Rapley, R., Manning, D.L. (eds) RNA Isolation and Characterization Protocols. Methods in Molecular Biology™, vol 86. Humana Press.

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  • Publisher Name: Humana Press

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-89603-494-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-59259-570-9

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