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PCR Methods Appl. 1992 Feb;1(3):181-6.

A method for specific amplification and PCR sequencing of individual members of multigene families: application to the study of steroid 21-hydroxylase deficiency.

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University Department of Medical Genetics, St. Mary's Hospital, Manchester, UK.


Mutations at the human HLA-linked CYP21B locus are responsible for 21-hydroxylase deficiency, a recessively inherited disorder of steroidogenesis. The scope for PCR-based analysis of the CYP21B gene has been restricted by the very high sequence homology between CYP21B and a closely related pseudogene, CYP21A. Here we describe a novel PCR sequencing strategy that allows the independent amplification of the entire CYP21B coding sequence and the subsequent enzyme-mediated conversion of the PCR product to a single-stranded form for dideoxy sequencing. We have used this approach to characterize the 21-hydroxylase deficiency allele associated with HLA-B55, the most frequent HLA marker associated with a CYP21B point mutation in the British population, and also an HLA-B35 associated allele of Asian origin. Allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) hybridization analyses have confirmed the selective amplification of CYP21B genes and the identity of the pathological mutations. The method can be adapted to permit selective amplification and PCR sequencing of individual closely related members of other multigene families and small-copy-number repetitive DNA families.

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