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Anal Biochem. 2010 Nov 1;406(1):29-33. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2010.06.043. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

Allele-specific extension allows base-pair neutral homozygotes to be discriminated by high-resolution melting of small amplicons.

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  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurobiology, Ministry of Education, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


Not all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) can be determined using high-resolution melting (HRM) of small amplicons, especially class 3 and 4 SNPs. This is due mainly to the small shift in the melting temperature (Tm) between two types of homozygote. Choosing rs1869458 (a class 4 SNP) as a sample, we developed a modified small amplicon HRM assay. An allele-specific extension (ASE) primer, which ended at an SNP site and matched only one of the alleles, was added to the reaction as well as additional thermal steps for ASE. Following asymmetric polymerase chain reaction and melting curve analysis, heterozygotes were easily identified. Two types of homozygote were also distinguishable, indicating that extension primers 11 to 13 bases in length worked efficiently in an allele-specific way. Modification of the limiting amplification primer with locked nucleic acid increased the Tm difference between extension and amplification peaks and facilitated subsequent genotyping. In addition, 194 human genomic DNA samples were genotyped with the developed assay and by direct sequencing, with the different methods providing identical genotyping results. In conclusion, ASE-HRM is a simple, inexpensive, closed-tube genotyping method that can be used to examine all types of SNP.

2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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