Development of a simple and highly sensitive mutation screening system by enzyme mismatch cleavage with optimized conditions for standard laboratories

Electrophoresis. 2008 Apr;29(7):1473-83. doi: 10.1002/elps.200700729.


Efficient screening of unknown DNA variations is one of the substantive matters of molecular biology even today. Historically, SSCP and heteroduplex analysis (HA) are the most commonly used methods for detecting DNA variations everywhere in the world because of their simplicity. However, the sensitivity of these methods is not satisfactory for screening purpose. Recently, several new PCR-based mutation screening methods have been developed, but most of them require special instruments and adjustment of conditions for each DNA sequence to attain the maximum sensitivity, eventually becoming as inconvenient as old methods. Enzyme mismatch cleavage (EMC) is potentially an ideal screening method. With high-performance nucleases and once experimental conditions are optimized, it requires only conventional staff and conditions remain the same for each PCR product. In this study we tested four commercially available endonucleases for EMC and optimized the electrophoresis and developing conditions. We prepared 25 known DNA variations consisting of 18 single base substitutions (8 transitions and 10 transversions, including all possible sets of mismatches) and 7 small deletions or insertions. The combination of CEL nuclease, 12% PAGE and rapid silver staining can detect all types of mutations and achieved 100% sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Pair Mismatch*
  • Laboratories / standards*
  • Mutation*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity