Microarrays revolutionized biological research by enabling gene expression comparisons on a transcriptome-wide scale. Microarrays, however, do not estimate absolute expression level accurately. At present, high throughput sequencing is emerging as an alternative methodology for transcriptome studies. Although free of many limitations imposed by microarray design, its potential to estimate absolute transcript levels is unknown.
In this study, we evaluate relative accuracy of microarrays and transcriptome sequencing (RNA-Seq) using third methodology: proteomics. We find that RNA-Seq provides a better estimate of absolute expression levels.
Our result shows that in terms of overall technical performance, RNA-Seq is the technique of choice for studies that require accurate estimation of absolute transcript levels.