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Affymetrix Launches GeneChip® Human Exon Array

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Affymetrix Inc. has announced the launch of the GeneChip® Human Exon 1.0 ST Array, designed to offer whole-genome, exon-level expression profiling on a single array.

Designed to interrogate approximately one million exons, the array helps researchers better understand the roles that alternative splicing and gene expression play in biology.

Affymetrix expects to offer GeneChip Mouse and Rat exon arrays toward the end of the year.

Research indicates that 60 percent or more of the best characterized genes in the human genome comprise multiple exons, or small blocks of RNA that can be rearranged, or "spliced" together to create different transcripts from the same gene.

Each of those transcripts can potentially be translated into a different protein carrying out different functions, which greatly increases the diversity of proteins generated from the genome.

The GeneChip exon arrays offer a high resolution view to examine these alternatively expressed exons, enabling researchers to conduct experiments that were not possible before.

Since each Affymetrix exon array has a capacity of six million data points, whole-genome exon expression analysis is possible on a single array.

Other platforms with significantly lower data capacity require as many as 50 arrays, which demand more sample, reagent and labor to conduct a comparable experiment.

“Biology occurs at the transcript level and any one of these transcripts could hold the key to a new treatment or diagnostic,” said John E. Blume, Ph.D., vice president of RNA Products at Affymetrix. 

“Affymetrix exon arrays offer scientists the only solution for accessing genome-wide exon data on a single array.”

“We anticipate that access to this data could dramatically accelerate research, publication and, ultimately, bring new tests and therapies to market.”