Genome Technology Center

A Novel Electrophoretic Method for Highly Specific Sequence Enrichment

Jason Thompson
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of British Columbia

Rare mutations in cell populations are known to be hallmarks of many diseases and cancers. Similarly, differential DNA methylation patterns arise in rare cell populations with diagnostic potential such as fetal cells circulating in maternal blood. Unfortunately, the frequency of alleles with diagnostic potential, relative to wild-type background sequence, is often well below the frequency of errors in currently available methods for sequence analysis, including very high throughput DNA sequencing. I will present a novel DNA preparation and purification method that through non-linear electrophoretic separation in media containing oligonucleotide probes achieves 10,000 fold enrichment of target DNA with single nucleotide specificity, and 100 fold enrichment of unmodified methylated DNA differing from the background by the methylation of a single cytosine residue. This preparative method has the potential to expand the reach of existing analytical methods, enabling routine analysis of low abundance nucleic acids.

Footer Links: