SSH adequacy to preimplantation mammalian development: Scarce specific transcripts cloning despite irregular normalisation

Bui, LC; LĂ©andri, RD; Renard, JP; Duranthon, V
January 2005
BMC Genomics;2005, Vol. 6, p155
Academic Journal
Background: SSH has emerged as a widely used technology to identify genes that are differentially regulated between two biological situations. Because it includes a normalisation step, it is used for preference to clone low abundance differentially expressed transcripts. It does not require previous sequence knowledge and may start from PCR amplified cDNAs. It is thus particularly well suited to biological situations where specific genes are expressed and tiny amounts of RNA are available. This is the case during early mammalian embryo development. In this field, few differentially expressed genes have been characterized from SSH libraries, but an overall assessment of the quality of SSH libraries is still required. Because we are interested in the more systematic establishment of SSH libraries from early embryos, we have developed a simple and reliable strategy based on reporter transcript follow-up to check SSH library quality and repeatability when starting with small amounts of RNA. Results: Four independent subtracted libraries were constructed. They aimed to analyze key events in the preimplantation development of rabbit and bovine embryos. The performance of the SSH procedure was assessed through the large-scale screening of thousands of clones from each library for exogenous reporter transcripts mimicking either tester specific or tester/driver common transcripts. Our results show that abundant transcripts escape normalisation which is only efficient for rare and moderately abundant transcripts. Sequencing 1600 clones from one of the libraries confirmed and extended our results to endogenous transcripts and demonstrated that some very abundant transcripts common to tester and driver escaped subtraction. Nonetheless, the four libraries were greatly enriched in clones encoding for very rare (0.0005% of mRNAs) tester-specific transcripts. Conclusion: The close agreement between our hybridization and sequencing results shows that the addition and follow-up of exogenous reporter transcripts provides an easy and reliable means to check SSH performance. Despite some cases of irregular normalisation and subtraction failure, we have shown that SSH repeatedly enriches the libraries in very rare, tester-specific transcripts, and can thus be considered as a powerful tool to investigate situations where small amounts of biological material are available, such as during early mammalian development.



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