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Nucleic Acids Res. 2005 Oct 4;33(17):e149.

Detection of ApoE E2, E3 and E4 alleles using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and the homogeneous mass-extend technology.

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Molecular Diagnostics Genotyping Laboratory, Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, WI 54449, USA.


Apolipoprotein (Apo) E is one of the five main types of blood lipoproteins (A-E). It is synthesized primarily in the liver and brain and helps in transporting lipids from one place to another as well as facilitates the clearing of dietary fats, such as triglycerides, from the blood. The ApoE gene exists in three different forms: E2, E3 and E4. E3 is considered to be the normal form. Variants of the ApoE gene have been associated with various diseases. Developing an assay for the genotyping of ApoE variants for use both in clinical and large cohort based association settings would be extremely valuable and would require the use of a platform that has high-throughput capabilities and is highly accurate. Here we describe an assay for the simultaneous genotyping of the ApoE variants in a single bi-plex reaction and a single well using the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry and the homogeneous mass-extend (hME) technology. The assay is robust, highly accurate and suitable for both clinical applications and for the genotyping of large disease cohorts. Moreover, the prevalence of ApoE variants in a cohort of Caucasians from the central Wisconsin area is outlined.

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