SSCP Screening of the Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase Gene Polymorphisms of the Japanese Population Using a Semi-automated Electrophoresis Unit

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The single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) procedure has been applied in routine testing for hereditary diseases. Temperature, running buffer, gel composition, and fragment length can influence its sensitivity. Mutation detection in the clinical setting depends on the development of automated technology, especially for large genes, such as the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPYD) gene, which codes the initial, rate-limiting enzyme in the catabolism of 5-fluorouracil (5FU). The authors have optimized the condition of SSCP with an automated system (GenePhor system, GE Healthcare UK Ltd.) to screen genetic polymorphisms in the DPYD gene. The efficiency of the method was evaluated using 21 positive controls (DNA samples with polymorphisms in the DPYD gene, previously characterized) and DNA samples from 35 Japanese. Results showed that the use of three different running buffers (pH 7.4, 8.3, and 9.0) in combination with other optimized conditions (10% polyacrylamide gel, 60–90 min at constant 900 V at 5°C) resulted in a high polymorphism detection rate (95.3%), which was considered appropriate for routine screening. Therefore, this strategy could be useful for pharmacogenetic studies on 5FU.

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