Overview

What is TRAC?

TRAC is a novel method of gene expression analysis, enabling multiplex detection of target gene transcripts from a large number of samples in a single assay (up to 30 genes per well in 96 well plates). Best of all, TRAC is fast, easy, customizable and cost-effective, making it the ideal solution for analyzing a large panel of genes in many samples.

Read more about the benefits of TRAC compared to alternative methods.

How does TRAC work?

TRAC analysis uses the following steps:

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Rapid sample processing

96 well plates containing a single sample per well are processed using a magnetic bead particle processor. The whole procedure can be carried out in few hours, making this assay suitable for the high-throughput analysis of mRNAs. For example, a single 96 well plate and a pool of 30 probes yields the readout of 2880 expression levels in just four hours.

Simple and flexible protocol

TRAC measures mRNA abundance directly using cell lysates. As such it does not require RNA extraction, cDNA conversion or amplification steps, significantly reducing the cost and error rate of the protocol. The simplicity of the TRAC method also translates to high flexibility in terms of modifying the assay and designing new gene panels.

Highly accurate

Due to the simple and robust nature of the TRAC assay, it can achieve CVs of 5-10%, which is significantly better than many of other alternative methods.

Using gene expression instead of protein expression

The main advantage of measuring gene expression is that is it technically easier and allows us to get more accurate quantifiable data than when measuring protein levels. In addition, current technological limitations mean that it is only possible to screen the whole transcriptome of an organism, as we are limited to screening only a small subset of the proteome. Lastly, focused panels of up to 30 genes make it easy and cost-effective to study a pathway or disease of interest in enough depth to provide insight. Similar protein-based methods would be much more laborious, impractical and expensive. To illustrate this point, the FDA has recently recommended that gene expression analysis should be the method of choice for studying CYP family expression to assess the effects of new drugs.