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Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1633:151-161. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-7142-8_10.

Detection and Quantification of Acute Myeloid Leukemia-Associated Fusion Transcripts.

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Department of Pathology, ARUP Laboratories, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112, USA.
Department of Pathology, The University of Utah, 15 North Medical Drive East, Room 2100, Salt Lake City, UT, 84112, USA.


Real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR)-based detection of abnormal fusion transcripts is an important strategy for the diagnosis and monitoring of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with t(8;21)(q22;q22); RUNX1-RUNX1T1, inv(16)(p13.1;q22); CBFB-MYH11 or t(15;17)(q22;q12); PML-RARA. In RT-qPCR assays, patient-derived cDNA is subjected to amplification using PCR primers directed against the fusion transcript of interest as well as a reference gene for normalization. Quantification is typically performed by constructing standard curves for each PCR run using a series of plasmid standards of known concentration that harbor the same fusion transcript or the same reference gene of interest. Fusion transcripts and reference gene copy numbers are then calculated in patient samples using these standard curves. The process of constructing standard curves is laborious and consumes additional reagents. In this chapter, we give the method details for a multiplex RT-qPCR strategy to detect and quantify the acute myeloid leukemia (AML)-associated fusion transcripts PML-RARA in patients with t(15;17) without the need for standard curves. This general method can also be applied to other AML-associated fusion transcripts such as CBFB-MYH11 and RUNX1-RUNX1T1.


Acute myeloid leukemia; Minimal residual disease; Normalized copy number; PML-RARA; RT-qPCR

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