A micro-method for the determination of the electrophoretic profile of the various poly(A)-containing RNA species in a RNA sample was developed. The method is simple to carry out and allows for great reproducibility. It combines the resolving power of electrophoresis in agarose with the specificity of binding of poly(A) to poly(U)-containing glass-fibre filters. It consists of the following steps. (1) The molecules in an RNA sample are first separated according to their molecular weight by electrophoresis in agarose, at low ionic strength. 2. The molecules thus seperated are then submitted to a second electrophoresis in ‘binding buffer’ in a direction perpendicular to the first one. In the course of this electrophoresis the poly(A)-containing RNA species are seperated from other RNA species as they bind to a poly(U)-containing glass-fibre filter which is placed across the electrophoresis path. The method was used to determine the electrophoretic profile of Rhynchosciara salivary-gland messenger RNA. It was found that the population of messenger RNA in the gland is dominated by forms moving as 18 and 158 S peaks, but there is also polydisperse RNA with slower mobility.

This content is only available as a PDF.