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Hum Mutat. 1993;2(2):112-7.

Detection of K-ras mutation in sputum by mutant-allele-specific amplification (MASA).

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Department of Biochemistry, Cancer Institute, Tokyo, Japan.


From 10 to 30% of lung carcinomas examined to date contain mutant K-ras genes. We report here that the mutant-allele-specific amplification (MASA) method may be useful for detection of the K-ras mutations in cells obtained from the sputum of patients with lung cancer. The PCR product from one of five patients revealed an alteration when mixed oligonucleotides representing variants of the second letter at codon 12 of this gene were used as 5' primers, and further experiments showed a mutation of GGT (Gly) to GAT (Asp) at codon 12. The MASA system could also be applied to an examination of metastatic lung carcinomas, particularly from adenocarcinomas in colon and pancreas in which frequent K-ras mutations are detected, and to mass-screening for colorectal tumors using DNA isolated from feces as template.

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