Sample degradation leads to false-positive copy number variation calls in multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction assays
ABSTRACT The recent implication of genomic copy number variations (CNVs) in multiple human genetic disorders has led to increased interest in CNV discovery technologies. There is a growing consensus that, in addition to the method used for detection, at least one additional technology should be employed for validation. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis, incorporating a normal (2N) copy number standard, is commonly used as a means of validating CNVs. Whereas it has previously been reported that formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) DNA samples can yield spurious CNV calls in real-time qPCR assays, here we report that sample degradation under standard laboratory storage conditions generates a significant increase in false-positive CNV results. Results suggest the possibility of biased degradation among genomic regions and emphasize the need to assess sample integrity immediately prior to real-time qPCR experiments.
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ABSTRACT: Real-time PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for quantification of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) by relative comparison of a nuclear to a mitochondrial locus. Quantitative abnormal mtDNA content is indicative of mitochondrial disorders and mostly confines in a tissue-specific manner. Thus handling of degradation-prone bioptic material is inevitable. We established a serial qPCR assay based on increasing amplicon size to measure degradation status of any DNA sample. Using this approach we can exclude erroneous mtDNA quantification due to degraded samples (e.g. long post-exicision time, autolytic processus, freeze-thaw cycles) and ensure abnormal DNA content measurements (e.g. depletion) in non-degraded patient material. By preparation of degraded DNA under controlled conditions using sonification and DNaseI digestion we show that erroneous quantification is due to the different preservation qualities of the nuclear and the mitochondrial genome. This disparate degradation of the two genomes results in over- or underestimation of mtDNA copy number in degraded samples. Moreover, as analysis of defined archival tissue would allow to precise the molecular pathomechanism of mitochondrial disorders presenting with abnormal mtDNA content, we compared fresh frozen (FF) with formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) skeletal muscle tissue of the same sample. By extrapolation of measured decay constants for nuclear DNA (λnDNA) and mtDNA (λmtDNA) we present an approach to possibly correct measurements in degraded samples in the future. To our knowledge this is the first time different degradation impact of the two genomes is demonstrated and which evaluates systematically the impact of DNA degradation on quantification of mtDNA copy number.Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 06/2012; 423(3):441-7. DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2012.05.121 · 2.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In goats, classical genetic studies reported a large number of alleles at the Agouti locus with effects on coat color and pattern distribution. From these early studies, the dominant A(Wt) (white/tan) allele was suggested to cause the white color of the Saanen breed. Here, we sequenced the coding region of the goat ASIP gene in 6 goat breeds (Girgentana, Maltese, Derivata di Siria, Murciano-Granadina, Camosciata delle Alpi, and Saanen), with different coat colors and patterns. Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified, 3 of which caused missense mutations in conserved positions of the cysteine-rich carboxy-terminal domain of the protein (p.Ala96Gly, p.Cys126Gly, and p.Val128Gly). Allele and genotype frequencies suggested that these mutations are not associated or not completely associated with coat color in the investigated goat breeds. Moreover, genotyping and sequencing results, deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, as well as allele copy number evaluation from semiquantitative fluorescent multiplex PCR, indicated the presence of copy number variation (CNV) in all investigated breeds. To confirm the presence of CNV and evaluate its extension, we applied a bovine-goat cross-species array comparative genome hybridization (aCGH) experiment using a custom tiling array based on bovine chromosome 13. aCGH results obtained for 8 goat DNA samples confirmed the presence of CNV affecting a region of less that 100 kb including the ASIP and AHCY genes. In Girgentana and Saanen breeds, this CNV might cause the A(Wt) allele, as already suggested for a similar structural mutation in sheep affecting the ASIP and AHCY genes, providing evidence for a recurrent interspecies CNV. However, other mechanisms may also be involved in determining coat color in these 2 breeds.Cytogenetic and Genome Research 12/2009; 126(4):333-47. DOI:10.1159/000268089 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Testing for tumor specific mutations on routine formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues may predict response to treatment in Medical Oncology and has already entered diagnostics, with KRAS mutation assessment as a paradigm. The highly sensitive real time PCR (Q-PCR) methods developed for this purpose are usually standardized under optimal template conditions. In routine diagnostics, however, suboptimal templates pose the challenge. Herein, we addressed the applicability of sequencing and two Q-PCR methods on prospectively assessed diagnostic cases for KRAS mutations. Tumor FFPE-DNA from 135 diagnostic and 75 low-quality control samples was obtained upon macrodissection, tested for fragmentation and assessed for KRAS mutations with dideoxy-sequencing and with two Q-PCR methods (Taqman-minor-groove-binder [TMGB] probes and DxS-KRAS-IVD). Samples with relatively well preserved DNA could be accurately analyzed with sequencing, while Q-PCR methods yielded informative results even in cases with very fragmented DNA (p<0.0001) with 100% sensitivity and specificity vs each other. However, Q-PCR efficiency (Ct values) also depended on DNA-fragmentation (p<0.0001). Q-PCR methods were sensitive to detect<or=1% mutant cells, provided that samples yielded cycle thresholds (Ct)<29, but this condition was met in only 38.5% of diagnostic samples. In comparison, FFPE samples (>99%) could accurately be analyzed at a sensitivity level of 10% (external validation of TMGB results). DNA quality and tumor cell content were the main reasons for discrepant sequencing/Q-PCR results (1.5%). Diagnostic targeted mutation assessment on FFPE-DNA is very efficient with Q-PCR methods in comparison to dideoxy-sequencing. However, DNA fragmentation/amplification capacity and tumor DNA content must be considered for the interpretation of Q-PCR results in order to provide accurate information for clinical decision making.PLoS ONE 11/2009; 4(11):e7746. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0007746 · 3.53 Impact Factor