Christine E Miller

ARUP Laboratories: A National Reference Laboratory, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

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Publications (4)11.58 Total impact

  • Mohamed Jama, Alison Millson, Christine E Miller, Elaine Lyon
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    ABSTRACT: Diagnostic and predictive testing for Huntington disease (HD) requires an accurate determination of the number of CAG repeats in the Huntingtin (HHT) gene. Currently, when a sample appears to be homozygous for a normal allele, additional testing is required to confirm amplification from both alleles. If the sample still appears homozygous, Southern blot analysis is performed to rule out an undetected expanded HTT allele. Southern blot analysis is expensive, time-consuming, and labor intensive and requires high concentrations of DNA. We have developed a chimeric PCR process to help streamline workflow; true homozygous alleles are easily distinguished by this simplified method, and only very large expanded alleles still require Southern blot analysis. Two hundred forty-six HD samples, previously run with a different fragment analysis method, were analyzed with our new method. All samples were correctly genotyped, resulting in 100% concordance between the methods. The chimeric PCR assay was able to identify expanded alleles up to >150 CAG repeats. This method offers a simple strategy to differentiate normal from expanded CAG alleles, thereby reducing the number of samples reflexed to Southern blot analysis. It also provides assurance that expanded alleles are not routinely missed because of allele dropout.
    The Journal of molecular diagnostics: JMD 03/2013; 15(2):255-62. · 3.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Factor V Leiden mutation (FVL; c.1601G>A, p.Arg534Gln), the most common aberration underlying activated Protein C resistance, results in disruption of a major anticoagulation pathway and is a leading cause of inherited thrombophilia. A high-throughput assay for FVL mutation detection was developed using a single unlabeled probe on a high-resolution platform, the 96-well Roche 480 LightCycler (LC480) instrument. This method replaced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved Roche Factor V Leiden kit assay on the LightCycler PCR instrument, decreasing total cost by 48%. The analytical sensitivity and specificity of the LC480 high-resolution assay approached 100% for the FVL mutation. Factor V mutations in proximity to the FVL locus may influence probe binding efficiency and melt characteristics. One out of three very rare variants tested in a separate study, 1600delC, was not distinguishable from FVL using the described high-resolution assay. However, a c.1598G>A variant, which changes the amino acid sequence from arginine to lysine at position 533, was detected by this high-resolution assay and confirmed by bidirectional sequencing. In the labeled probe LightCycler assay, the c.1598G>A variant was indistinguishable from the heterozygous FVL control. The c.1598G>A variant has not been described previously and its clinical significance is uncertain. In conclusion, the LC480 FVL assay is cost effective in a high-throughput setting, with capability to detect both previously described and novel FV variants.
    Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 01/2011; 15(4):207-13. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most of the over 1600 mutations and sequence variants identified to date in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene are point mutations or small deletions/insertions detectable by conventional sequencing. However, large rearrangements (deletions, duplications, or insertion/deletion mutations) have recently been reported to constitute 1-2% of CFTR mutations. The CFTR sequencing protocol at ARUP Laboratories interrogates the coding regions of all 27 exons and all intron/exon boundaries of the gene. This study was undertaken to determine whether testing for large gene rearrangements could improve the mutation detection rate. Nine cases with abnormal quantitative pilocarpine iontophoresis sweat chloride (SC) values (>60 mEq/L) and 20 cases with borderline SC levels (40-60 mEq/L) with only one or no mutations detected by the ARUP 32 mutation panel, including the 23 mutations recommended by American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) for carrier screening, followed by sequencing, were tested using a multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) assay. MLPA analysis identified one deletion among nine patients with SC >60 who had previously been tested with sequencing. None of the cases with borderline SC levels showed rearrangements. The MLPA assay for detection of large rearrangements may be valuable in individuals with positive SC levels where one or no mutations have been identified by sequencing.
    Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers 04/2010; 14(2):171-4. · 1.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Germline mutation detection in PMS2, one of four mismatch repair genes associated with Lynch syndrome, is greatly complicated by the presence of numerous pseudogenes. We used a modification of a long-range PCR method to evaluate PMS2 in 145 clinical samples. This modification avoids potential interference from the pseudogene PMS2CL by utilizing a long-range product spanning exons 11-15, with the forward primer anchored in exon 10, an exon not shared by PMS2CL. Large deletions were identified by MLPA. Pathogenic PMS2 mutations were identified in 22 of 59 patients whose tumors showed isolated loss of PMS2 by immunohistochemistry (IHC), the IHC profile most commonly associated with a germline PMS2 mutation. Three additional patients with pathogenic mutations were identified from 53 samples without IHC data. Thirty-seven percent of the identified mutations were large deletions encompassing one or more exons. In 27 patients whose tumors showed absence of either another protein or combination of proteins, no pathogenic mutations were identified. We conclude that modified long-range PCR can be used to preferentially amplify the PMS2 gene and avoid pseudogene interference, thus providing a clinically useful germline analysis of PMS2. Our data also support the use of IHC screening to direct germline testing of PMS2.
    Human Mutation 03/2010; 31(5):588-93. · 5.21 Impact Factor