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J Mol Diagn. 2007 Apr;9(2):184-96.

RET proto-oncogene genotyping using unlabeled probes, the masking technique, and amplicon high-resolution melting analysis.

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Advanced Technology Group, ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, 500 Chipeta Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.


Single bp mutations in the RET proto-oncogene can cause multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 syndromes. The conventional approach for genotyping RET mutations is sequencing the exons. A closed-tube RET genotyping assay using a saturating DNA dye, unlabeled probes, and amplicon high-resolution melting analysis was developed. The method required two sequential polymerase chain reaction stages, a primary and secondary assay. The primary assay analyzed RET exons 10, 11, 13, 14, and 16 with a total of seven reactions using eight unlabeled probes. The primary assay genotyped wild-type exons, a common exon 13 polymorphism, and an exon 16 mutation, whereas other RET sequence variation was detected. The primary unlabeled probe data limited the possible genotypes for the detected RET sequence variation, which permitted genotyping in a secondary assay with only two to five reactions. Six probes were designed with the masking technique and masked selected sequence variations to allow unambiguous analysis of other mutations elsewhere under the probe. After this two-stage RET genotyping assay, less than 0.2% of exons tested would require sequencing for genotype. A blinded study generated from five wild type and 29 available RET sequence variation samples was 100% concordant with sequencing. Amplicon high-resolution melting analysis with unlabeled probes and the masking technique is a fast, accurate method for genotyping the >50 RET sequence variations.

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