Complete and rapid scanning of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene by denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (D-HPLC): major implications for genetic counselling

Hum Genet. 2001 Apr;108(4):290-8. doi: 10.1007/s004390100490.


More than 900 mutations and more than 200 different polymorphisms have now been reported in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene. Ten years after the cloning of the CFTR gene, the complete scanning of the 27 exons to identify known and novel mutations remains challenging. Rapid accurate identification of mutated alleles is important for prenatal diagnosis, for cascade screening in families at risk of cystic fibrosis (CF) and for understanding the correlation between genotype and phenotype. In this study, we report the successful use of denaturing ion-pair reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography (D-HPLC) to analyse rapidly the complete coding sequence of the CFTR gene. With 27 pairs of polymerase chain reaction primers, we optimised the temperature conditions required for the analysis of each amplicon and validated thetest conditions on samples from a panel of 1552 CF patients who came from France and other European countries and who had mutations and polymorphisms located in the various melting domains of the gene. D-HPLC identified 415 mutated alleles previously characterised by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing, plus 74 novel mutations reported here. This new technique for screening DNA for sequence variation was extremely accurate (it identified 100% of the CFTR alleles tested so far) and rapid (the complete CFTR gene could be analysed in less than a week). Our approach should reduce the number of untyped CF alleles in populations and thus decrease the residual risk in couples at risk of CF. This technique may be important not only for CF,but also for many other genes with a high frequency of point mutations at a variety of sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid / methods
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator / genetics*
  • Exons
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Time Factors


  • CFTR protein, human
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator