Agilent Technologies introduces new microarray labeling kit for sample-limited experiments

New kit requires only nanograms of starting RNA and reduces procedure time from days to hours with one round of amplification.

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 27, 2003

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced the Low RNA Input Fluorescent Linear Amplification Kit that can label cDNA or cRNA targets for microarray experiments using as little as 50 nanograms of total RNA. Its user-friendly protocol requires only a single round of amplification and reduces procedure time from days to hours, yet provides comparable amplification to the original Eberwine procedure.

A major limitation of microarray technology has been the large amount of starting RNA -- usually 5 to 10 micrograms of total RNA -- required for labeling. With this kit, researchers are able to extend DNA microarray technology to sample-limited experiments such as those involving laser microdissected specimens, biopsy samples, or challenging cell cultures, such as those used in cancer research.

The new kit eliminates several drawbacks of previous amplification methods. It reduces the number of purification steps and completely eliminates extraction using toxic phenol. It minimizes hands-on time through a simple, single tube procedure that is amenable to automation. The kit's protocol uses reverse transcriptase, T7 RNA polymerase, and reagents to make either labeled cRNA in six hours for use with oligonucleotide arrays, or labeled cDNA in 10 hours for use with cDNA arrays. With other amplification methods, typical preparation times can last several days.

The kit provides the same amplification as the Eberwine procedure -- 100x minimum, 200-300x typical amplification, depending on the sample -- but requires only a single amplification round. Because of that, the reaction is optimized for linearity and does not introduce bias of the abundant mRNA species over the rare mRNA populations.

This amplification kit is the newest addition to Agilent's family of flexible, pre-configured kits that work with specific gene expression microarrays. Agilent's labeling kits provide added confidence with two-color labeling formats that can normalize system variability between two samples and the noise between two microarrays. Reliability is further enhanced when researchers run samples using Agilent's complete microarray-based gene expression system.

Agilent in Gene Expression

Agilent Technologies is a leading provider of integrated gene expression solutions based on the open-standard 1" x 3" glass slide format. Agilent offers a complete line of products to accelerate microarray-based research, including 60-mer and cDNA microarrays, labeling kits RNA sample quality analysis systems, hybridization tools, a 48-slide DNA microarray scanner, feature extraction software, and Rosetta Biosoftware's gene expression data analysis systems. Product information is available online at

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 32,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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Christina Maehr
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