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Clin Chem. 2007 Nov;53(11):1891-8. Epub 2007 Sep 21.

Scanning the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene using high-resolution DNA melting analysis.

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Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA.



Complete gene analysis of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator gene (CFTR) by scanning and/or sequencing is seldom performed because of the cost, time, and labor involved. High-resolution DNA melting analysis is a rapid, closed-tube alternative for gene scanning and genotyping.


The 27 exons of CFTR were amplified in 37 PCR products under identical conditions. Common variants in 96 blood donors were identified in each exon by high-resolution melting on a LightScanner(R). We then performed a subsequent blinded study on 30 samples enriched for disease-causing variants, including all 23 variants recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics and 8 additional, well-characterized variants.


We identified 22 different sequence variants in 96 blood donors, including 4 novel variants and the disease-causing p.F508del. In the blinded study, all 40 disease-causing heterozygotes (29 unique) were detected, including 1 new probable disease-causing variant (c.3500-2A>T). The number of false-positive amplicons was decreased 96% by considering the 6 most common heterozygotes. The melting patterns of most heterozygotes were unique (37 of 40 pairs within the same amplicon), the exceptions being p.F508del vs p.I507del, p.G551D vs p.R553X, and p.W1282X vs c.4002A>G. The homozygotes p.G542X, c.2789 + 5G>A, and c.3849 + 10kbC>T were directly identified, but homozygous p.F508del was not. Specific genotyping of these exceptions, as well as genotyping of the 5T allele of intron 8, was achieved by unlabeled-probe and small-amplicon melting assays.


High-resolution DNA melting methods provide a rapid and accurate alternative for complete CFTR analysis. False positives can be decreased by considering the melting profiles of common variants.

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