Detection of microsatellite instability in human colorectal carcinomas using a non-radioactive PCR-based screening technique

Virchows Arch. 1995;426(3):223-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00191358.


The aim of the present study was to establish a rapid, non-radioactive screening method for the detection of microsatellite instability (MIN). MIN is the primary characteristic of the mutator phenotype in tumours constituting hereditary non-polyposis colon cancers (HNPCC). We investigated 30 patients suffering from colorectal cancer using a non-radioactive PCR-based technique. MIN was present in 7 of 30 (23%) of the cases. There was a statistically significant correlation between MIN and localization of the tumour. Five of 7 (72%) tumours with MIN but only 4 of 23 (17%) tumours without MIN were localized in the proximal colon (P < 0.01). There was a tendency to higher MIN frequency in tumours of patients with familial clustering of cancers. However, this was statistically not significant (P > 0.05). In addition, no correlation between MIN and tumour grade and stage was found. For the investigations in the present study we used a non-radioactive PCR-based method followed by denaturating polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and silver staining. This method is highly sensitive and reproducible. Thus, PCR-based analysis using a non-radioactive staining technique represents a comprehensive tool for MIN screening in diagnostic pathology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms, Hereditary Nonpolyposis / pathology*
  • DNA, Satellite / analysis*
  • DNA, Satellite / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*


  • DNA, Satellite