RNA Analysis

RNA Detection & Isolation

The RNA population in any given cell is remarkably complex and unique. RNAs come in a number of different species and sizes that range from a few to many thousand nucleotides. Given the sheer number and diversity of eukaryotic RNA molecules, it is of obvious interest to study specific RNAs within a given cell or tissue.

There are numerous methods to detect specific RNAs All differ in their capabilities in the areas of sensitivity, quantification dynamic range, throughput, and revealing additional information about the RNA species under study (e.g RNA size and structure).

Isolating high-quality RNA molecules is crucial to many downstream experiments, such as cloning, for cDNA library creation, sequencing and structural analysis. Aside from the techniques mentioned above, there are many techniques that seek to enrich the entire population of a particular RNA species. Studies that require the isolation of mRNA often take advantage of the polyadenine tail typically present at the 3’ end. One approach involves the use affinity matrices; poly-T oligonucleotides that  hybridize to the complementary poly-A tails (1). Enrichment of miRNA and siRNAs can also be achieved using high-affinity binding proteins and the use of chitin magnetic beads (2, 3).


  1. Aviv, H. and Leder, P. (1972) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 69, 1408. PMID: 4504350
  2. Silhavy, D. et al. (2002) EMBO J., 21, 3070-3080. PMID: 12065420
  3. Jin, J. et al. (2010) Biotechniques . 48, XVII-XXII. PMID: 20569217
New England Biolabs supports RNA research by providing the tools necessary for synthesis, processing, transfection, detection, isolation, analysis, amplification and cloning of RNA molecules.

Protocols for RNA Detection & Isolation

Reagents for RNA Sample Preparation

NEB offers a wide variety of reagents to facilitate front-end processing of RNA for downstream applications including next-generation sequencing, library construction and microarrays.

RNA Polymerase Selection Chart

NEB offers RNA polymerases that can be used for in vitro synthesis of RNA for a wide variety of downstream applications. Additional polymerases are offered for the generation of untemplated homoribopolymeric tails for reverse transcription or labeling.

RNA Ligase Selection Chart

NEB offers a variety of ligases for RNA research with unique specificities.

cDNA Synthesis Selection Chart

NEB offers several reagents for cDNA synthesis for use in applications including qPCR and qRT-PCR. For your convenience, reagents are available as kits or standalone products, depending on your needs.