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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Feb 17;95(4):1681-5.

Conformation sensitive gel electrophoresis for simple and accurate detection of mutations: comparison with denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and nucleotide sequencing.

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  • 1Center for Gene Therapy, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19102, USA.


Previously, an assay called conformation sensitive gel electrophoresis (CSGE) was developed for scanning PCR products for the presence of single-base and larger base mismatches in DNA. The assay was based on the assumption that mildly denaturing solvents in an appropriate buffer can accentuate the conformational changes produced by single-base mismatches in double-stranded DNA and thereby increase the differential migration in electrophoretic gels of heteroduplexes and homoduplexes. Here the sensitivity of assays by CSGE was improved by limiting the maximal size of the PCR products to 450 bp and making several changes in the conditions for PAGE. With the improved conditions, CSGE detected all 76 previously identified single-base changes in a large series of PCR products from collagen genes that contain multiple exons with highly repetitive and GC-rich sequences. In a survey of 736 alleles of collagen genes, CSGE detected 223 unique single-base mismatches that were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. CSGE has the advantage over other methods for scanning PCR products in that it is simple, requires no special preparation of PCR products, has a large capacity, and does not use radioactivity.

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