Pyrosequencing®-Based Identification of Low-Frequency Mutations Enriched Through Enhanced-ice-COLD-PCR

Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1315:83-101. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-2715-9_7.


A number of molecular diagnostic assays have been developed in the last years for mutation detection. Although these methods have become increasingly sensitive, most of them are incompatible with a sequencing-based readout and require prior knowledge of the mutation present in the sample. Consequently, coamplification at low denaturation (COLD)-PCR-based methods have been developed and combine a high analytical sensitivity due to mutation enrichment in the sample with the identification of known or unknown mutations by downstream sequencing experiments. Among these methods, the recently developed Enhanced-ice-COLD-PCR appeared as the most powerful method as it outperformed the other COLD-PCR-based methods in terms of the mutation enrichment and due to the simplicity of the experimental setup of the assay. Indeed, E-ice-COLD-PCR is very versatile as it can be used on all types of PCR platforms and is applicable to different types of samples including fresh frozen, FFPE, and plasma samples. The technique relies on the incorporation of an LNA containing blocker probe in the PCR reaction followed by selective heteroduplex denaturation enabling amplification of the mutant allele while amplification of the wild-type allele is prevented. Combined with Pyrosequencing(®), which is a very quantitative high-resolution sequencing technology, E-ice-COLD-PCR can detect and identify mutations with a limit of detection down to 0.01 %.

MeSH terms

  • Codon / genetics
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Limit of Detection
  • Mutation Rate*
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Oligonucleotides / genetics
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras) / genetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Temperature


  • Codon
  • DNA Primers
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Oligonucleotides
  • locked nucleic acid
  • DNA
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)