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The causes of imprecision in microarray expression analysis are poorly understood, limiting the use of this technology in molecular diagnostics. Two-dimensional strandness-dependent electrophoresis (2D-SDE) separates nucleic acid molecules on the basis of length and strandness, i.e., double-stranded DNA (dsDNA), single-stranded DNA (ssDNA), and RNA·DNA hybrids. We used 2D-SDE to measure the efficiency of cDNA synthesis and its importance for the imprecision of an in vitro transcription-based microarray expression analysis. The relative amount of double-stranded cDNA formed in replicate experiments that used the same RNA sample template was highly variable, ranging between 0% and 72% of the total DNA. Microarray experiments showed an inverse relationship between the difference between sample pairs in probe variance and the relative amount of dsDNA. Approximately 15% of probes showed between-sample variation (P < 0.05) when the dsDNA percentage was between 12% and 35%. In contrast, only 3% of probes showed between-sample variation when the dsDNA percentage was 69% and 72%. Replication experiments of the 35% dsDNA and 72% dsDNA samples were used to separate sample variation from probe replication variation. The estimated SD of the sample-to-sample variation and of the probe replicates was lower in 72% dsDNA samples than in 35% dsDNA samples. Variation in the relative amount of double-stranded cDNA synthesized can be an important component of the imprecision in T7 RNA polymerase-based microarray expression analysis. © 2013 American Association for Clinical Chemistry


Hans G Thormar, Bjarki Gudmundsson, Freyja Eiriksdottir, Siyoen Kil, Gudmundur H Gunnarsson, Magnus Karl Magnusson, Jason C Hsu, Jon J Jonsson. Importance of the efficiency of double-stranded DNA formation in cDNA synthesis for the imprecision of microarray expression analysis. Clinical chemistry. 2013 Apr;59(4):667-74

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PMID: 23378568

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