Why do Archer FusionPlex assays use RNA instead of DNA as input material? It all comes down to biological relevance, cost and turn-around-time. Translocations can occur anywhere in the genome, including introns and other non-coding sequences. They can also occur within the coding regions of genes with limited expression patterns. What this means is that many of the translocations that occur in a cell may not be expressed and thus have little or no biological relevance. For this reason, DNA is not the ideal substrate to search for oncogenic fusions. RNA, on the other hand, is the intermediate product of gene expression and is ideal for detecting fusions, because you are only looking at those that are expressed and potentially oncogenic. Searching for translocations in non-coding regions of the genome is time consuming and expensive. For example, DNA-based hybrid capture techniques tile over intronic regions, which can be repetitive, homopolymer-prone and span 100kb or more. This approach requires more probes, more space on your sequencer and more input material. And even then, coverage can be spotty. On the other hand, FusionPlex assays use RNA transcripts and place gene-specific primers near known fusion breakpoints, so you can identify translocations with a single primer. And because FusionPlex assays combine primers for multiple fusion targets, you can efficiently detect more fusions with less reads and input material. FusionPlex assays use RNA to detect fusions and are better, faster and cheaper than DNA-based hybrid capture techniques. Detect fusions the Archer way, with one of the many FusionPlex assays.
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