Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Center for Genetic Medicine

RNA Sequencing

RNA sequencing, or RNA-seq, is the latest technology to study the transcriptome, i.e., the full set of RNA transcripts as genome readouts in a cell or population of cells. This technology directly sequences RNA molecules in the transcriptome, and compared to microarray, it does not make assumptions as to which parts of the genome are transcribed. After sequencing, the generated reads are usually mapped to the reference genome to identify their genomic origin. The total number of reads mapped to a particular genomic region represents the level of transcriptional activity in the region. The more transcriptionally active a genomic region is, the more copies of RNA transcripts it produces, and the more RNA-seq reads it generates. Essentially RNA-seq analysis is a counting game.

NUSeq provides four types of RNA-seq services: mRNA-seq, total RNA-seq, small RNA-seq, and ultra-low-input mRNA-seq. Most users request mRNA-seq for the profiling of the mRNA population, i.e., the expressed protein-coding regions of the genome. Total RNA-seq, on the other hand, interrogates both coding and non-coding RNA species (such as long non-coding RNAs).  Total RNA-seq is also more suitable for heavily degraded RNA samples such as those prepared from FFPE samples. To analyze the cellular repertoire of small RNA species, such as microRNA, small RNA-seq is the technology of choice, which isolates and sequences only small RNA species. Under circumstances when only small numbers of cells are available, or for single-cell analysis, ultra-low-input mRNA-seq is needed to accommodate the very limited amounts of total RNA collected from such samples (e.g., less than 10 ng).

To get started, core users may refer to a document that the core has compiled:RNA-Seq Workflow Steps and Examples.

The FAQ section of this website contains more information on various aspects of carrying out a successful RNA-seq experiment.

RNA-seq Library Prep Pricing
mRNA-seq Library Prep$250.00$275.00$312.50Sample
Total RNA-seq Library Prep$350.00$385.00$437.50Sample
Small RNA-seq Library Prep$275.00$302.50$343.75Sample
Ultra-Low-Input mRNA-seq Library Prep$450.00$495.00$562.50Sample