Invitrogen™ SuperScript™ II Reverse Transcriptase (RT) is an engineered version of M-MLV reverse transcriptase with reduced RNase H activity and increased thermal stability. It is a DNA polymerase that synthesizes a complementary DNA strand from single-stranded RNA, DNA, or from an RNA:DNA hybrid. The structural modification of this enzyme eliminates degradation of RNA molecules during first-strand cDNA synthesis gives SuperScrip II RT the superior performance characteristics below.

Ordering information

Transcript sensitivity

With over 50,000 citations, reviews, and publications, SuperScript II is the most widely used RT for cDNA synthesis. One of the common uses for SuperScript II is gene expression analysis [1]. For gene expression studies, the ideal RT will efficiently reverse transcribe even the least abundant mRNAs or low copy RNA within a total RNA pool. SuperScript II can reverse transcribe 532 bp and 1.1 kb transcripts from as little as 100 pg of input tRNA. In contrast to ProtoScript™ II (NEB), SuperScript II has 10-fold increase in transcript sensitivity. For even higher sensitivity, Invitrogen™ SuperScript™ III can achieve a signal from 10 pg of input tRNA. 

Figure 1. Superior sensitivity of SuperScript® Reverse Transcriptase. Serial dilution of HeLa cell tRNA at 1 μg, 1 ng, 100 pg, and 10 pg (lanes 1 through 4 respectively) were reverse transcribed using the manufacturer’s instructions for each enzyme. 


Transcript length

Another critical feature of reverse transcriptases—especially for cloning or cDNA library applications—is the ability to reverse transcribe full-length mRNA. Without efficient extension of RNA during the RT reaction, portions of the transcript may be lost for analysis. In a time-course RT reaction, SuperScript II was effective in the reverse transcription of 0.24 to 9.5 kb RNA ladder at 15 min as compared to MMLV, GoScript™ (Promega), MMLV H– (Promega) and Sensiscript™ (Qiagen) RTs.

Figure 2.  Reverse transcription of 0.24–0.5 kb RNA ladder transcript. RNA ladder was reverse transcribed using the manufacturer’s instructions for each enzyme.


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