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Snapback SSCP analysis: Engineered conformation changes for the rapid typing of known mutations

Wilton, S.D., Honeyman, K., Fletcher, S. and Laing, N.G. (1998) Snapback SSCP analysis: Engineered conformation changes for the rapid typing of known mutations. Human Mutation, 11 (3). pp. 252-258.

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Several approaches may be applied to detect known mutations, including restriction enzyme cleavage, allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) hybridization or amplification, dideoxy fingerprinting, and direct DNA sequencing. All these approaches require several extra steps after PCR and may involve radioactive isotopes, time-consuming hybridization, template purification, or digestion steps. The ease and simplicity of the SSCP test make it a popular choice for mutation detection, but a significant limitation is that some DNA changes will not alter the overall conformation of either single strand and are thus not amenable to SSCP typing. We describe Snapback SSCP to genotype normal and mdx mice (an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy) that previously could not be differentiated by conventional SSCP analysis. A snapback primer was designed with additional bases at the 5′ terminus, which were complementary to the normal sequence flanking the mdx mutation and used under the original amplification conditions. Each single strand of these snapback PCR products now had one terminus capable of re-annealing or “snapping back” to the normal sequence but not the mdx mutation. In this manner, a conformation change was engineered into the normal strand that could be readily distinguished from the mdx allele on a SSCP gel. This approach could be applied to the routine screening of other known mutations that are not amenable to detection by simple SSCP analysis.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Copyright: © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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