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Biotechniques. 2000 May;28(5):986-92.

Validation of fluorescent SSCP analysis for sensitive detection of p53 mutations.

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  • 1University of California Berkeley, School of Public Health, USA.


We have developed a fluorescence-based single strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) method that offers fast and sensitive screening for mutations in exons 5-8 of the human p53 gene. The method uses an ABI 377 DNA sequencer for unique color detection of each strand, plus accurate alignment of lanes for better detection of mobility shifts. To validate the method, 21 cell lines with reported mutations in p53 exons 5-8 were analyzed by SSCP using various gel conditions. The sensitivity for mutation detection was 95% for all cell lines studied, and no false positives were seen in 10 normal DNA samples for all four exons. Experiments mixing known amounts of tumor and normal DNA showed that mutations were detected even when tumor DNA was mixed with 80% normal DNA. Fluorescent SSCP analysis using the ABI sequencer is a useful tool in cancer research, where screening large numbers of samples for p53 mutations is desired.

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