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High-throughput single strand conformation polymorphism mutation detection by automated capillary array electrophoresis: validation of the method.

Paal Skytt Andersen, Cathrine Jespersgaard, Jens Vuust, Michael Christiansen, Lars Allan Larsen

Hum. Mutat., 2003 Feb , 21, 116-22

Capillary array electrophoresis (CAE) is a novel technique, which allows for high throughput analysis of DNA fragments. When screening for mutations in whole populations or large patient groups it is necessary to have robust and well-characterized setups for high throughput analysis. For large-scale mutation screening, we have developed procedures for single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) assays using CAE (CAE-SSCP) whereby we may increase both the sensitivity and the throughput compared to conventional SSCP analysis. In this study we have validated CAE-SSCP by 1) comparing detection by slab-gel based SSCP with CAE-SSCP of mutations in the MYH7, MYL2, and MYL3 genes encoding sarcomere proteins from patients suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; and 2) by constructing a series of 185 mutants having substitution mutations, as well as insertion/deletion mutations, or some combinations of these, in different sequence contexts in four exons and different positions relative to the end of the amplicon (three from the KCNQ1 gene, encoding a cardiac potassium channel, and one from the TNNI3 gene encoding cardiac troponin I). The method identified 181 out of 185 mutations (98%), and the data suggest that the position of mutation in the fragment had no effect on the sensitivity. Analysis of the specificity of the method showed that only very few mutants could not be distinguished from each other and there were no false positives.