Multiplex PCR amplification from the CFTR gene using DNA prepared from buccal brushes/swabs

Hum Mol Genet. 1993 Feb;2(2):159-63. doi: 10.1093/hmg/2.2.159.


Traditionally, DNA used for PCR-based diagnostic analysis has originated from white cells fractionated from whole blood. Although this method yields substantial quantities of DNA, there are some drawbacks to the procedure, including the inconvenience of drawing blood, risk of exposure to blood-borne pathogens, liquid sample handling, and the somewhat involved extraction procedure. Alternatively, DNA for genetic diagnosis has been derived from finger stick blood samples, hair roots, cheek scrapings, and urine samples. Oral saline rinses have also been used extensively as a means of collecting buccal epithelial cells as a DNA source. However, this method still requires liquid sample handling. Herein, we present our results involving the rapid extraction of DNA from buccal cells collected on cytology brushes and swabs for use in PCR reactions, specifically the multiplex amplification of 5 exons within the CFTR gene. The quality of DNA isolated from buccal cells, collected in this manner, has been sufficient to reproducibly support multiplex amplification. Cheek cell samples and the DNA prepared from them as described here are highly stable. The success rate of PCR amplification on DNA prepared from buccal cells is 99%. In a blind study comparing the analysis of 12 mutations responsible for cystic fibrosis in multiplex products amplified with DNA from both blood and buccal cell samples from 464 individuals, there was 100% correlation of results for blood and cheek cell DNA, validating the use of DNA extracted from cheek cells collected on cytology brushes for use in genetic testing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cheek
  • Cystic Fibrosis / diagnosis
  • Cystic Fibrosis / genetics
  • Cystic Fibrosis / prevention & control
  • Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
  • DNA / blood
  • DNA Mutational Analysis* / instrumentation
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Genetic Testing
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mouth Mucosa / cytology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Specimen Handling


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