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[An improved PCR-based megaprimer method for site-directed mutagenesis].

[Article in Chinese]

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Department of Cell Biology and Medical Genetics, First Military Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, 510515 P. R. China.



To establish an improved, simple and convenient megaprimer PCR method for site-directed mutagenesis(SDM).


This protocol is based on the design of two different plasmid DNA templates. Template 1 lacks the binding site for reverse flanking primer, and template 2 lacks the binding site for forward flanking primer. This modification avoids amplification of full-length wild-type sequences while two templates, the forward and reverse flanking primers exist simultaneously in one reaction tube. A megaprimer is synthesized in the first PCR reaction using template 1, forward primer and mutagenic primer. The megaprimer that needn't the cumbersome gel purification step is directly added to the second PCR reaction system. The second PCR reaction(PCR 2) containing two stages is performed using template 2, megaprimer, forward and reverse flanking primer. During the first stage of PCR 2, the megaprimer is extended to form the full-length mutation product. In the second stage of PCR 2, the extended megaprimer containing SDM residues is subsequently amplified with the two flanking primers. All of the final PCR products contained the desired mutation.


Fifteen types of rare beta-thalassemia mutations in Chinese were obtained using this method. Each of these modified fragments was separately cloned into the pGEM-T vector and sequenced. The desired mutations involved in mutagenesis amplicons were identified in all clones.


This improved PCR-based megaprimer method for site-directed mutagenesis is rapid, simple and highly efficient, and the success rate of mutagenesis could reach 100%. Furthermore, this method is suitable for routine application in molecular cloning.

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