Single-strand conformation polymorphism and heteroduplex analysis for gel-based mutation detection

Electrophoresis. 1999 Jun;20(6):1177-85. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1522-2683(19990101)20:6<1177::AID-ELPS1177>3.0.CO;2-2.


Single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) and heteroduplex analysis (HA) are popular electrophoretic methods for the identification of sequences. The principle reasons for the popularity of these two methods are their technical simplicity and their relatively high sensitivity for the detection of mutations. Here we review the theory and practice of SSCP and HA, including the factors contributing to the sensitivity of mutation detection. For SSCP analysis, these factors include: choice of gel matrix, electrophoretic conditions, presence of neutral additives, fragment size, and G+C content For HA, the principle factors influencing sensitivity are the gel matrix and the identity of the base mismatch.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins
  • Animals
  • DNA / analysis*
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mutation*
  • Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes / analysis*
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational*


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Nucleic Acid Heteroduplexes
  • polyacrylamide gels
  • DNA