Lexogen Releases Strand-Specific mRNA Sequencing Kit

Vienna-based Biotech company Lexogen announced the release of a highly strand-specific mRNA sequencing kit that enables the accurate analysis of antisense transcripts in a wide variety of applications including basic research, cancer transcriptomics, and target discovery.

Vienna, Austria – November 26, 2012 – Lexogen GmbH recently announced the release of its first product, the SENSE mRNA-Seq sample preparation kit.

While the widespread availability of DNA sequencing has greatly impacted the study of gene expression and transcriptomics, current sequencers cannot accept RNA templates, and numerous techniques are required to convert RNA into a compatible library.
One challenge is to generate a library while retaining strand-specificity, the direction of transcription of a given transcript. Maintaining strand-specificity is vital for the study of antisense RNA and overlapping genes, and changes in the transcription of such genes can lead to a variety of phenotypes and diseases.

Modern strand-specific RNA-Seq library preparations are based on a number of different technologies, but all have the potential to generate false antisense reads, artifacts that appear as if they were generated from the opposite strand, through a variety of mechanisms. The SENSE mRNA-Seq kit utilizes Lexogen’s proprietary strand-displacement stop/ligation technology to prevent the production of such artifacts and to generate libraries several orders of magnitude more strand-specific than leading alternatives. This higher strand-specificity greatly increases the confidence behind the orientation of each read and increases sensitivity when detecting antisense transcripts.

While focusing on applications targeting antisense research, the SENSE kit was also designed to amalgamate several procedures during library preparation which usually require separate kits. Purifications are handled primarily with magnetic silica beads, allowing poly-A mRNA selection, commonly used in transcriptomics to avoid sequencing ribosomal and transfer RNAs, to be integrated into the protocol. Integrated size selection and library enrichment reagents are also included, allowing the researcher to produce ready-to-sequence libraries from total RNA within 4 hours without additional kits.

The company is currently expanding the multiplexing capabilities to allow the pooling of up to 96 samples with a new barcode design and is adapting the method for use with high-throughput platforms. Additionally, the protocol is being adapted for the analysis of non-polyadenylated RNA and RNA from FFPE samples. Additional formats will be released starting Q1 2013.

Lexogen is a Vienna-based transcriptomics company that was founded in 2007 and is supported by private equity, the FFG and the AWS. The company currently employs 28 scientists and designs and manufactures comprehensive solutions for transcriptome profiling.

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