With the rapid increase in the number of identified human disease genes, the development of accurate and cost-efficient mutation tests has become opportune. Here we present a combination of extensive PCR multiplexing and two-dimensional (2-D) DNA electrophoresis to screen for mutations in 26 exons of the retinoblastoma (RB1) tumor suppressor gene. In 2-D electrophoresis, fragments are separated according to size and base pair sequence in non-denaturing and denaturing gradient gels, respectively. All target fragments, designed to have optimal melting characteristics, were prepared in a two-step PCR (a 6-plex long-PCR pre-amplification and a subsequent 25-plex short-PCR) followed by heteroduplexing. The mixture of PCR amplicons was then subjected to 2-D electrophoresis under a single set of experimental conditions. With this design, 35 previously identified mutations in 18 different exons were detected in 33 bilateral retinoblastoma patients. These results suggest that 2-D electrophoresis in this format provides a generally applicable, practical and fast way to diagnose with high accuracy large genes for a broad spectrum of possible disease-causing mutations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology