Combined binary ratio labeling (COBRA) fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) allows 24-color FISH karyotyping of human metaphase chromosomes utilizing only four fluorochromes, instead of the five required for combinatorial labeling procedures. Here we show that by introduction of a fifth fluorochrome, COBRA-FISH permits molecular cytogenetic mapping of viral integration sites in complex karyotypes in the context of a 24-color hybridization. We were able to detect a single copy of the human papillomavirus 16 in the SiHa cell line and to confirm the site of integration at 13q21-31. We also demonstrate the gene mapping possibility of 25-color hybridization by detecting a MYC cosmid on normal metaphase chromosomes. The possibility of mapping single-copy probes in the background of 24-color hybridization expands the tools for cytogenetic mapping of DNA sequences and will contribute to the understanding of the role of viral integration and chromosome rearrangement in virus-mediated carcinogenesis.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.