Optimal design of oligonucleotide microarrays for measurement of DNA copy-number

Hum Mol Genet. 2007 Nov 15;16(22):2770-9. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddm234. Epub 2007 Aug 28.


Copy-number variants (CNVs) occur frequently within the human genome, and may be associated with many human phenotypes. If disease association studies of CNVs are to be performed routinely, it is essential that the copy-number status be accurately genotyped. We systematically assessed the dynamic range response of an oligonucleotide microarray platform to accurately predict copy-number in a set of seven patients who had previously been shown to carry between 1 and 6 copies of an approximately 4 Mb region of 15q12.2-q13.1. We identify probe uniqueness, probe length, uniformity of probe melting temperature, overlap with SNPs and common repeats (particularly Alu elements) and guanine homopolymer content as parameters that significantly affect probe performance. Further, we prove the influence of these criteria on array performance by using these parameters to prospectively filter data from a second array design covering an independent genomic region and observing significant improvements in data quality. The informed selection of probes which have superior performance characteristics allows the prospective design of oligonucleotide arrays which show increased sensitivity and specificity compared with current designs. Although based on the analysis of data from comparative genomic hybridization experiments, we anticipate that our results are relevant to the design of improved oligonucleotide arrays for high-throughput copy-number genotyping of complex regions of the human genome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15 / genetics
  • DNA / genetics*
  • DNA Probes
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Research Design*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA Probes
  • DNA