Cloning of alternatively polyadenylated transcripts is crucial for studying gene expression and function. Recent transcriptome analysis has mainly focused on large EST clone collections. However, EST sequencing techniques in many cases are incapable of isolating rare transcripts or address transcript variability. In most cases, 3 ́ RACE is applied for the experimental identification of alternatively polyadenylated transcripts.
However, its application may result in nonspecific amplification and false positive products due to the usage of a single gene specific primer. Additionally, internal poly(A) stretches primed by oligo(dT) primer in mRNAs with AU-rich 3 ́UTR may generate truncated cDNAs.
To overcome these limitations, we have developed a simple and rapid approach combining SMART technology for the construction of a full length cDNA library and hybrid capture PCR for the selection and amplification of target cDNAs. Our strategy is characterized by enhanced specificity compared to other conventional RT-PCR and 3 ́ RACE procedures.