Sensitivity of single-strand conformation polymorphism and heteroduplex method for mutation detection in the cystic fibrosis gene

Hum Mol Genet. 1994 May;3(5):801-7. doi: 10.1093/hmg/3.5.801.


The gene responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF) contains 27 coding exons and more than 300 independent mutations have been identified. An efficient and optimized strategy is required to identify additional mutations and/or to screen patient samples for the presence of known mutations. We have tested several different conditions for performing single-stranded conformation polymorphism (SSCP) analysis in order to determine the efficiency of the method and to identify the optimum conditions for mutation detection. Each exon and corresponding exon boundaries were amplified. A panel of 134 known CF mutations were used to test the efficiency of detection of mutations. The SSCP conditions were varied by altering the percentage and cross-linking of the acrylamide, employing MDE (an acrylamide substitute), and by adding sucrose and glycerol. The presence of heteroduplexes could be detected on most gels and in some cases contributed to the ability to distinguish certain mutations. Each analysis condition detected 75-98% of the mutations, and all of the mutations could be detected by at least one condition. Therefore, an optimized SSCP analysis can be used to efficiently screen for mutations in a large gene.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics*
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • DNA Mutational Analysis / methods*
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / genetics
  • Exons
  • Genes
  • Genetic Testing / methods
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Nucleic Acid Conformation
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • CFTR protein, human
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator