An improved flow cytometric assay for somatic mutations at the glycophorin A locus in humans

Cytometry. 1990;11(4):513-21. doi: 10.1002/cyto.990110410.


An improved method has been developed for the glycophorin A assay for somatic cell mutations in humans. The new assay, named the "BR6" assay, can be performed on a commercially available, single-beam flow cytometer, in contrast to the previously described 1W1 assay that required a dual-beam flow sorter. A modified cell labeling method developed for the BR6 assay results in improved separation of normal and mutant phenotype cells, as well as eliminating some cellular artifacts that affected the 1W1 assay. Parallel measurements on samples from 17 normal donors showed that the BR6 assay yields comparable variant cell frequencies and improved measurement precision compared with the 1W1 assay. A detailed analysis of three individuals who showed large differences in background variant frequency with the 1W1 assay confirmed that these differences could also be detected with the BR6 assay. A dramatically elevated variant cell frequency was seen with the BR6 assay of an individual exposed to a high level of ionizing radiation in an accident at Goiania, Brazil.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cesium Radioisotopes
  • Cytogenetics / methods*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry / methods*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gamma Rays
  • Genetic Variation
  • Glycophorins / analysis*
  • Glycophorins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiation Injuries / diagnosis
  • Sialoglycoproteins / analysis*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cesium Radioisotopes
  • Glycophorins
  • Sialoglycoproteins