Invitrogen Corporation will become the exclusive provider of fluorescent microRNA microarray labeling kits using Genisphere Inc.’s 3DNA® dendrimer signal amplification technology, based on the terms of a new license agreement.
This technology, combined with Invitrogen’s Alexa Fluor® fluorescent dyes, is now commercialized in the new NCode™ Rapid miRNA Labeling System, available from Invitrogen.
Genisphere’s 3DNA® dendrimer technology, winner of Frost and Sullivan’s 2005 Technology Innovation Award for nucleic acid labeling products for microarrays, is based on highly branched DNA structures serving as scaffolds for multitudes of fluorescent dyes.
Using the 3DNA® dendrimer technology, the NCode™ Rapid miRNA Labeling System is a fast and reproducible system to directly label microRNAs (ribonucleic acids) with fluorescent Alexa Fluor® tags.
“When working with small nucleic acids, sensitivity is often limited. Our development of a simple process to efficiently couple microRNAs directly to 3DNA® dendrimers is a significant improvement over past methods,” said Dr. Robert Getts, research and development director at Genisphere. “Combining Genisphere’s unique labeling approach with Invitrogen’s microRNA array content will provide researchers with a powerful solution in their investigation of the biology of microRNAs.”
“Our new kit accelerates the discovery of novel microRNA biomarkers by reducing the amount of time scientists must invest to detect microRNAs. In addition, we have increased sensitivity compared to alternative technologies, which can preserve precious samples,” said Peter Welch, director of research and development, Gene Expression Profiling at Invitrogen.
“Because microRNAs play a significant role in cancer and in the differentiation of stem cells, discoveries resulting from experiments in those areas could potentially expedite the diagnostics applications of microRNA biomarkers in disease,” Welch added.
Using this new system, scientists can start with a total RNA sample as little as 250 nanograms, eliminating the need to purify the microRNA sample prior to labeling. Using a single hybridization step (versus the two-step process required by other systems), scientists will be able to complete the experiment in less than eight hours. The test reliably detects 2-10 copies of microRNA per cell.
“Epigenetic mechanisms, including the activity of microRNAs, play a critical role in many key areas of biological research,” said Amy Butler, vice president of Gene Expression Profiling for Invitrogen. “This addition to our epigenetic product portfolio will help scientists more easily advance their research in this rapidly evolving field.”