DNA Res. 2019 Feb 1;26(1):55-65. doi: 10.1093/dnares/dsy038.
Evaluation and application of RNA-Seq by MinION.
The current RNA-Seq method analyses fragments of mRNAs, from which it is occasionally difficult to reconstruct the entire transcript structure. Here, we performed and evaluated the recent procedure for full-length cDNA sequencing using the Nanopore sequencer MinION. We applied MinION RNA-Seq for various applications, which would not always be easy using the usual RNA-Seq by Illumina. First, we examined and found that even though the sequencing accuracy was still limited to 92.3%, practically useful RNA-Seq analysis is possible. Particularly, taking advantage of the long-read nature of MinION, we demonstrate the identification of splicing patterns and their combinations as a form of full-length cDNAs without losing precise information concerning their expression levels. Transcripts of fusion genes in cancer cells can also be identified and characterized. Furthermore, the full-length cDNA information can be used for phasing of the SNPs detected by WES on the transcripts, providing essential information to identify allele-specific transcriptional events. We constructed a catalogue of full-length cDNAs in seven major organs for two particular individuals and identified allele-specific transcription and splicing. Finally, we demonstrate that single-cell sequencing is also possible. RNA-Seq on the MinION platform should provide a novel approach that is complementary to the current RNA-Seq.