The Northern blot allows identification of specific messenger RNA sequences within a mixture of RNA molecules. The final signal achieved on the blot is proportional to the number of specific sequences present, allowing for a quantitative analysis of gene expression. The RNA transcripts produced from a particular gene can vary in size because of phenomena such as the following:
1. Utilization of a secondary transcription start site by RNA polymerase;
2. Premature termination of transcription resulting from nonsense mutation;
3. Posttranscriptional modifications, such as splicing;
These alternative transcripts can be detected by Northern blot analysis. This information is routinely used to determine if the expression of a specific gene is altered in any way. Aberrations in gene expression are frequently studied in the laboratory to evaluate the cellular response to a particular stimulus or treatment at the molecular biology level. Because abnormal expression of specific genes is often reliably associated with certain disease states, the Northern blot can also be a valuable tool for diagnosis/prognosis in the clinical setting.
Was this article helpful?
Are You Prepared For Your First Baby? Endlessly Searching For Advice and Tips On What To Expect? Then You've Landed At The Right Place With All The Answers! Are you expecting? Is the time getting closer to giving birth to your first baby? So many mothers to be are completely unprepared for motherhood and the arrival of a little one, but stress not, we have all the answers you need!