Identification and cloning of differentially expressed genes by long-distance differential display.
Differential mRNA display (DD-PCR) amplifies short cDNAs (average size 100-350 bp), representing mainly the 3' untranslated regions (3' UTR) of transcripts. Sequencing of these cDNAs is predominantly uninformative for prediction of function and selection of clones for further analysis. Differential display of longer amplicons (0.5-2.0 kb) could enable isolation of cDNAs that encompass both 3' UTR and at least part of the 3' end of the coding region. The coding sequence information could facilitate selection of candidate clones for further analysis without the necessity of screening cDNA libraries. By combining DD-PCR protocols with long-distance PCR and using hot-start PCR with rTth DNA polymerase we have successfully amplified and comparatively displayed cDNAs ranging in size from 150 bp to 2 kb. Long-distance DD-PCR (LDD-PCR) has generated highly reproducible primer-specific patterns of cDNA fragments, as well as reproducible duplicate fingerprints, obtained from different RNA and cDNA samples. Sequencing and expression analyses of LDD-PCR clones have shown that LDD-PCR (a) enables nonredundant clone sampling, (b) generates many clones that encompass part of the coding region, and (c) samples both abundant and rare transcripts, approximately 60% of which are differentially expressed as confirmed by Northern analysis. Coupled with high-throughput cDNA sequencing and multiplex hybridization of cDNA microarrays for confirmation of differential expression, LDD-PCR could prove to be useful for simultaneous scanning of transcripts from multiple cDNA samples and faster selection of differentially expressed transcripts of interest.