reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)

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The most sensitive technique for mRNA detection and quantitation, involving amplification of a reverse transcription product. In this technique, an RNA template is reverse transcribed using an RNA-dependent DNA polymerase (q.v.). The resulting cDNA (q.v.) is then amplified using the polymerase chain reaction (q.v.). cDNA corresponding to the rarest of transcripts can be detected by this method. RT-PCR products are quantitated using any of a variety of methods, providing information about the expression levels of a particular gene or relative transcription of multiple RNAs.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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