Detection of gene mutations by sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods can allow to identify occult neoplastic cells in a great excess of nonmalignant cells. These molecular approaches have an enormous potential in terms of early diagnosis, detection of occult micrometastases of solid tumors, and minimal residual disease in patients with hematopoietic malignancies. Currently, the applications of such methods are limited, mainly because the high sensitivity required for the identification of rare mutated alleles can be achieved only in cases in which mutations occur in few specific codons of a gene or when the mutation is already known. No methods are available by which few alleles with unknown mutations in tumor genes can be recognized in a great excess of wild-type alleles. We have developed an extremely sensitive method, termed enriched single-strand conformational polymorphism (E-SSCP), which permits detection of a rare alleles with unknown mutations. The method is based on the observation that after a conventional SSCP analysis the vast majority of mutated bands migrate close to the wild-type bands. The area of the gel having the highest chance to hold mutated alleles is physically isolated and is used as substrate for a second round of SSCP. Serially diluted DNA samples containing gene mutations demonstrated detection of 1 mutant/10(6) normal alleles. The E-SSCP assay was first applied to six sputum samples of patients affected by lung cancers with known p53 mutations showing in sputa the same mutations observed in tumors. The technique was then applied to eight cytologically negative sputum samples obtained from patients who later developed a clinically manifested lung carcinoma. In three cases, harboring a p53 mutation in tumor tissue, the E-SSCP analysis allowed the detection of the mutations in sputa months before clinical diagnosis. In conclusion, we have presented a general, highly sensitive technique for the detection of unknown mutations that may have several potential applications and may hold considerable promise for the early detection and study of cancer.
|Autori interni:||MARCHETTI, ANTONIO|
|Autori:||Marchetti A; Buttitta F; Carnicelli V; Pellegrini S; Bertacca G; Merlo G; Bevilacqua G|
|Titolo:||Enriched SSCP: a highly sensitive method for the detection of unknown mutations. Application to the molecular diagnosis of lung cancer in sputum samples.|
|Anno del prodotto:||1997|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|