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J Mol Med (Berl). 1997 Oct;75(10):745-50.

Detection of RET proto-oncogene codon 634 mutations using mass spectrometry.

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Sequenom Instruments GmbH, Hamburg, Germany.


Mutations located in the RET proto-oncogene at codon 634 associated with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2A and medullary thyroid carcinoma are detected by low-resolution and high-resolution mass spectrometry schemes not requiring labeling or electrophoretic separation of diagnostic products. The former requires measurement by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry of 21- to 27-mer oligonucleotides generated by a primer oligo base extension reaction. The latter is based upon direct measurement of artificial products which include the mutation site using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry. In this feasibility study a synthetic 25-mer representing the wildtype allele (7660.3 Da) was easily distinguished from G to A (7644.3 Da) and G to T (7635.3 Da) mutant alleles; the mutant alleles, which differed in mass by only 9.0 Da, were easily resolved when analyzed as a mixture. The results of both detection schemes were highly accurate and reliable, indicating mass spectrometry to be a high-quality alternative for future DNA diagnostics performed in clinical laboratories and genetic profiling studies.

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