The miRNA and Gene Expression Core facility is developed in the laboratory of Shunbin Xu, MD. The purpose of this core is to facilitate the research in Rush and beyond in qualitative and quantitative analysis on microRNA and gene expression in tissues and cell types of interest.
To date, through funding by the Hasterlik Fund, the laboratory has acquired a 7900HT fast real-time PCR machine. The core lab also has other critical bioinformatic software and equipment, including StatMiner real-time PCR data analysis software (Integromics), NanoDrop Spectrophotometer for DNA/RNA/protein ND-1000 (NanoDrop), Thermo Fisher Sorval Legend centrifuge with TLDA card buckets, compatible for Taqman and other qRT-PCR based microarrays, and is integrated with other major equipment, including DNA Engine PTC-200 PCR machine (MJ Research), Gel Doc XR imaging and analysis system (Bio-rad), DNA/RNA and protein gel electrophoresis apparatus, Gene Pulser (Bio-rad), Trans-Blot SD Semi-Dry Electrophoretic Transfer Cell for Southern, Northern and Western blotting (Bio-rad), Biosafety hood and CO2 tissue culture incubators. With these efforts, the miRNA and Gene Expression Core is providing services of most molecular biology, miRNA and gene expression analysis, including DNA, RNA, microRNA preparation from cultured cells or tissues; DNA, RNA and protein assays; PCR and RT-PCR; Real-time PCR; DNA/RNA electrophoresis; Southern and Northern blotting; Real-time quantitative RT-PCR based miRNA and gene expression microarrays. To date, this laboratory has established one of the first miRNA transcriptomes of mouse adult retina and developing mouse retina; one of the first miRNA transcriptomes of human adult neuroretina. To complete and strengthen this miRNA and gene expression core, we plan to install glass array hybridization and scanning services, an Affymatrix GeneChip analysis system and a full-time bioinformatic staff member in the near future.