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Pharmacogenomics. 2011 Jun;12(6):845-60. doi: 10.2217/pgs.11.10.

DNA amplification techniques in pharmacogenomics.

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  • 1Omics Science Center, RIKEN Yokohama Institute, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama 230-0045, Japan.


The variable predisposition of patients, both to disease susceptibility and drug response, is well established. It is largely attributed to genetic, as well as epigenetic variations between individuals, which may be inherited or acquired. The most common variation in the human genome is the SNP, which occurs throughout the genome, both within coding and noncoding regions. Characterization of SNPs in the context of both inherited and acquired conditions, such as cancer, are a main focus of many genotyping procedures. The demand for identifying (diagnosing) targeted SNPs or other variations, as well as the application of genome-wide screens, is continuously directing the development of new technologies. In general, most methods require a DNA amplification step to provide the amounts of DNA needed for the SNP detection step. In addition, DNA amplification is an important step when investigating other types of genomic information, for instance when addressing repeat, deletion, copy number variation or epigenetic regulation by DNA methylation. Besides the widely used PCR technique, there are several alternative approaches for genomic DNA amplification suitable for supporting the detection of genomic variation. In this article, we describe and evaluate a number of techniques, and discuss possible future prospects of DNA amplification in the fields of pharmacogenetics and pharmacogenomics.

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