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"Gene expression vs Transcription vs mRNA levels": Help with conceptua - (Nov/20/2008 )

Dear all,

I have a basic conceptual question, and would really appreciate if you could help me out.

I am extracting RNA from cells treated with 2 different drugs. I use trizol for extraction and then prepare cDNA using oligo-dT primers. The cDNA is later analysed by real time PCR and compared to a control.

What would be the most correct expression to use, in order to describe this experiment?

Measurement of…

a. "transcriptional change"?
b. "changes in gene expression"?
c. "changes in mRNA levels"?
d. "relative changes in mRNA levels"?
e. Any other suggestions?

I really appreciate your input!

All the best,

-Julianne W-

First choice would be relative changes in mRNA levels. "Transcriptional change" sounds a bit fluffy, you're not looking at expression levels because you're looking at RNA rather than protein, and "changes in mNRA levels" suggests some degree of absolute calculations; in your experiments, your mRNA levels will be normalised with a housekeeping gene, I presume.