Effective microtissue RNA extraction coupled with Smart-seq2 for reproducible and robust spatial transcriptome analysis

Miki Yamazaki, Masahito Hosokawa, Koji Arikawa, Kiyofumi Takahashi, Chikako Sakanashi, Takuya Yoda, Hiroko Matsunaga, Haruko Takeyama*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Spatial transcriptomics is useful for understanding the molecular organization of a tissue and providing insights into cellular function in a morphological context. In order to obtain reproducible results in spatial transcriptomics, we have to maintain tissue morphology and RNA molecule stability during the image acquisition and biomolecule collection processes. Here, we developed a tissue processing method for robust and reproducible RNA-seq from tissue microdissection samples. In this method, we suppressed RNA degradation in fresh-frozen tissue specimens by dehydration fixation and effectively collected a small amount of RNA molecules from microdissection samples by magnetic beads. We demonstrated the spatial transcriptome analysis of the mouse liver and brain in serial microdissection samples (100 μm in a diameter and 10 μm in thickness) produced by a microdissection punching system. Using our method, we could prevent RNA degradation at room temperature and effectively produce a sequencing library with Smart-seq2. This resulted in reproducible sequence read mapping in exon regions and the detection of more than 2000 genes compared to non-fixed samples in the RNA-seq analysis. Our method would be applied to various transcriptome analyses, providing the information for region specific gene expression in tissue specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7083
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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