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BMC Cancer. 2009 Apr 16;9:113. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-113.

Contamination and sample mix-up can best explain some patterns of mtDNA instabilities in buccal cells and oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Author information

1
Department of Mathematics, University of Hamburg, 20146 Hamburg, Germany. bandelt@math.uni-hamburg.de

Abstract

The study of somatic DNA instabilities constitutes a debatable topic because different causes can lead to seeming DNA alteration patterns between different cells or tissues from the same individual. Carcinogenesis or the action of a particular toxic could generate such patterns, and this is in fact the leitmotif of a number of studies on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) instability. Patterns of seeming instabilities could also arise from technical errors at any stage of the analysis (DNA extraction, amplification, mutation screening/sequencing, and documentation). Specifically, inadvertent DNA contamination or sample mixing would yield mosaic variation that could be erroneously interpreted as real mutation differences (instabilities) between tissues from the same individual. From the very beginning, mtDNA studies comparing cancerous to non-cancerous tissues have suffered from such mosaic results. We demonstrate here that the phylogenetic linkage of whole arrays of mtDNA mutations provides strong evidence of artificial recombination in previous studies on buccal cells and oral squamous cell carcinoma.

PMID:
19371404
PMCID:
PMC2678148
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2407-9-113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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