A method for detection of large genomic deletions in the MSH2 and MLH1 genes based on multiplex PCR and quantitative evaluation of PCR products is presented. All 35 exons of MSH2 and MLH1 were screened simultaneously in seven PCR reactions, each of them including primers for both genes. The method is reliable for uncovering large genomic deletions in patients suspected of HNPCC. With this method, six novel deletions were identified, two in MSH2: EX1_10del and EX1_16del (representing deletion of the entire MSH2 gene); and four in MLH1: EX1_10del in two unrelated patients, EX3_5del, and EX4del. The deletions were detected in 18 unrelated patients in whom no germline mutation had been identified by SSCP and DHPLC. These results indicate that our modified multiplex PCR assay is suited for the detection of large deletions both in the MSH2 and MLH1 gene and therefore represents an additional valuable tool for mutation screening in HNPCC families.
Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.