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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nucleotide analogs and new buffers improve a generalized method to enrich for low abundance mutations.

A high sensitivity method for detecting low level mutations is under development. A PCR reaction is performed in which a restriction site is introduced in wild-type DNA by alteration of specific bases. Digestion of wild-type DNA by the cognate restriction endonuclease (RE) enriches for products with mutations within the recognition site. After reamplification, mutations are identified by a ligation detection reaction (LDR). This PCR/RE/LDR assay was initially used to detect PCR error in known wild-type samples. PCR error was measured in low |Deltap K a| buffers containing tricine, EPPS and citrate, as well as otherwise identical buffers containing Tris. PCR conditions were optimized to minimize PCR error using perfect match primers at the Msp I site in the p53 tumor suppressor gene at codon 248. However, since mutations do not always occur within pre-existing restriction sites, a generalized PCR/RE/LDR method requires the introduction of a new restriction site. In principle, PCR with mismatch primers can alter specific bases in a sequence and generate a new restriction site. However, extension from 3' mismatch primers may generate misextension products. We tested conversion of the Msp I (CCGG) site to a Taq I site (TCGA). Conversion was unsuccessful using a natural base T mismatch primer set. Conversion was successful when modified primers containing the 6 H,8 H -3, 4-dihydropyrimido[4,5- c ][1,2]oxazine-7-one (Q6) base at 3'-ends were used in three cycles of preconversion PCR prior to conversion PCR using the 3' natural base T primers. The ability of the pyrimidine analog Q6 to access both a T-like and C-like tautomer appears to greatly facilitate the conversion.[1]


  1. Nucleotide analogs and new buffers improve a generalized method to enrich for low abundance mutations. Day, J.P., Hammer, R.P., Bergstrom, D., Barany, F. Nucleic Acids Res. (1999) [Pubmed]
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