Send to

Choose Destination
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2012 Sep;136(9):983-92. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2011-0176-OA.

High-resolution melting analysis as a sensitive prescreening diagnostic tool to detect KRAS , BRAF , PIK3CA , and AKT1 mutations in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues.

Author information

Institute of Pathology, University of Bonn, Germany.



As the availability of targeted therapies for several tumor types increases, the need for rapid and sensitive mutation screening is growing. KRAS mutations constitutively activate the RAS/RAF/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and therefore play an important role in anti-epidermal growth factor receptor therapy for patients with colorectal cancers. Mutationally activated PIK3CA and AKT1 genes are promising therapeutic targets in breast cancer. In 60% to 70% of malignant melanomas, a mutation in BRAF can be found. Thus, the blocking of the oncogenic signaling induced by this mutation is now used as treatment approach.


To establish high-resolution melting assays for routinely used predictive analyses of KRAS , AKT1 , PIK3CA , and BRAF mutations.


High-resolution melting assays were developed by using specifically designed primers and genomic DNA isolated either from cell lines or formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues, oligonucleotides, or plasmids. Melting curve analyses were performed on the LightCyler platform and mutation analyses were additionally confirmed by Sanger sequencing.


We developed high-resolution melting assays by using genomic DNA containing the desired mutation, which enabled us to detect percentages of mutated DNA (3.1% to 12.5%) mixed in a wild-type background. Assays were evaluated by hybridization probes and/or Sanger sequencing to exclude pseudogene amplification. The high-resolution melting assays were validated with genomic DNA from different tumor entities. The concordance between Sanger sequencing and high-resolution melting was 99% for KRAS exon 2 and PIK3CA exon 20 and 100% for the remaining assays.


High-resolution melting provides a valid and powerful tool for detecting genomic mutations efficiently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Allen Press, Inc.
Loading ...
Support Center