Authors Jaeschke, A. ; Harvey, N.R. ; Tsurkan, M. ; Werner, C. ; Griffiths, L.R. ; Haupt, L.M. ; Bray, L.
Title Techniques for RNA extraction from cells cultured in starPEG-heparin hydrogels
Date 02.06.2021
Number 59007
Abstract Three-dimensional (3D) cell culture models that provide a biologically relevant microenvironment are imperative to investigate cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions in vitro. Semi-synthetic star-shaped poly(ethylene glycol) (starPEG)–heparin hydrogels are widely used for 3D cell culture due to their highly tuneable biochemical and biomechanical properties. Changes in gene expression levels are commonly used as a measure of cellular responses. However, the isolation of high-quality RNA presents a challenge as contamination of the RNA with hydrogel residue, such as polymer or glycosaminoglycan fragments, can impact template quality and quantity, limiting effective gene expression analyses. Here, we compare two protocols for the extraction of high-quality RNA from starPEG–heparin hydrogels and assess three subsequent purification techniques. Removal of hydrogel residue by centrifugation was found to be essential for obtaining high-quality RNA in both isolation methods. However, purification of the RNA did not result in further improvements in RNA quality. Furthermore, we show the suitability of the extracted RNA for cDNA synthesis of three endogenous control genes confirmed via quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The methods and techniques shown can be tailored for other hydrogel models based on natural or semi-synthetic materials to provide robust templates for all gene expression analyses.
Publisher Open Biology
Citation Open Biology 11 (2021) 200388

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