mRNA vs protein

What do you study and why? What and how often do you see differences and what are the pros and cons of each?

Hi Ektor,

I can give one example of the difference in studying mRNA vs. protein: a common way of studying gene expression patterns is to make transcriptional reporters for them. Using this technique, one would fuse a fluorescent tag (like GFP) to the promoter of the gene you’re interested in. This would demonstrate in which cells the transcript is being made.

Transcriptional reporters don’t always reflect the expression patterns of the protein itself. If the protein is regulated through post-translational modification, the protein may not be expressed in certain cells even though its transcript is.

However, I’m not sure if this is the type of answer you’re looking for. The lab I work in studies a specific pathway which requires studying both nucleic acids and protein. This allows for a comprehensive understanding of our pathway. I’m afraid I’ve never worked in a lab that studied mRNA or protein exclusively.