Multiple freeze-thaw cycles lead to a loss of consistency in poly(A)-enriched RNA sequencing

Benjamin P Kellman, Hratch M Baghdassarian, Tiziano Pramparo, Isaac Shamie, Vahid Gazestani, Arjana Begzati, Shangzhong Li, Srinivasa Nalabolu, Sarah Murray, Linda Lopez, Karen Pierce, Eric Courchesne, Nathan E Lewis
BMC Genomics 2021 January 21, 22 (1): 69

BACKGROUND: Both RNA-Seq and sample freeze-thaw are ubiquitous. However, knowledge about the impact of freeze-thaw on downstream analyses is limited. The lack of common quality metrics that are sufficiently sensitive to freeze-thaw and RNA degradation, e.g. the RNA Integrity Score, makes such assessments challenging.

RESULTS: Here we quantify the impact of repeated freeze-thaw cycles on the reliability of RNA-Seq by examining poly(A)-enriched and ribosomal RNA depleted RNA-seq from frozen leukocytes drawn from a toddler Autism cohort. To do so, we estimate the relative noise, or percentage of random counts, separating technical replicates. Using this approach we measured noise associated with RIN and freeze-thaw cycles. As expected, RIN does not fully capture sample degradation due to freeze-thaw. We further examined differential expression results and found that three freeze-thaws should extinguish the differential expression reproducibility of similar experiments. Freeze-thaw also resulted in a 3' shift in the read coverage distribution along the gene body of poly(A)-enriched samples compared to ribosomal RNA depleted samples, suggesting that library preparation may exacerbate freeze-thaw-induced sample degradation.

CONCLUSION: The use of poly(A)-enrichment for RNA sequencing is pervasive in library preparation of frozen tissue, and thus, it is important during experimental design and data analysis to consider the impact of repeated freeze-thaw cycles on reproducibility.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"