Double-differential PCR for gene dosage estimation of erbB oncogenes in benign and cancer tissues and comparison to cellular DNA content

Gene. 1995 Jun 14;159(1):29-34. doi: 10.1016/0378-1119(94)00651-8.


Competitive and differential quantitative PCR methods circumvent the limiting factors of PCR which cause poor reproducibility. We describe the development and performance evaluation of another quantitative PCR method, double-differential PCR (ddPCR). The ddPCR method comprises the co-amplification of the single-copy gene HBB, the erbB-1, erbB-2 and erbB-3 oncogenes and the second single-copy reference gene SOD2 under equal reaction conditions. The ratio of band intensities of the PCR products in silver-stained polyacrylamide gels expresses the average gene copy number (AGCN) per cell of the erbB oncogenes. The coefficient of variability (CV) was less than 25% for an AGCN of 1. The PCR data were in correlation to the results from dot blotting. DNA image analysis did not reveal any correlation between DNA content and gene dosage deviation of the erbB oncogenes. The method was applied to normal breast tissue, benign breast diseases, breast cancer tissue and lymph node metastases. We suggest this method as being reproducible, low cost and rapid, and therefore suitable for clinical studies on erbB oncogene dosage estimation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Breast / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA / analysis*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Female
  • Gene Dosage*
  • Genes, erbB / genetics*
  • Globins / genetics
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Superoxide Dismutase / genetics


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Globins
  • DNA
  • Superoxide Dismutase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M11765
  • GENBANK/M34309
  • GENBANK/M38425