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1.  Assessment of whole genome amplification-induced bias through high-throughput, massively parallel whole genome sequencing 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:216.
Whole genome amplification is an increasingly common technique through which minute amounts of DNA can be multiplied to generate quantities suitable for genetic testing and analysis. Questions of amplification-induced error and template bias generated by these methods have previously been addressed through either small scale (SNPs) or large scale (CGH array, FISH) methodologies. Here we utilized whole genome sequencing to assess amplification-induced bias in both coding and non-coding regions of two bacterial genomes. Halobacterium species NRC-1 DNA and Campylobacter jejuni were amplified by several common, commercially available protocols: multiple displacement amplification, primer extension pre-amplification and degenerate oligonucleotide primed PCR. The amplification-induced bias of each method was assessed by sequencing both genomes in their entirety using the 454 Sequencing System technology and comparing the results with those obtained from unamplified controls.
All amplification methodologies induced statistically significant bias relative to the unamplified control. For the Halobacterium species NRC-1 genome, assessed at 100 base resolution, the D-statistics from GenomiPhi-amplified material were 119 times greater than those from unamplified material, 164.0 times greater for Repli-G, 165.0 times greater for PEP-PCR and 252.0 times greater than the unamplified controls for DOP-PCR. For Campylobacter jejuni, also analyzed at 100 base resolution, the D-statistics from GenomiPhi-amplified material were 15 times greater than those from unamplified material, 19.8 times greater for Repli-G, 61.8 times greater for PEP-PCR and 220.5 times greater than the unamplified controls for DOP-PCR.
Of the amplification methodologies examined in this paper, the multiple displacement amplification products generated the least bias, and produced significantly higher yields of amplified DNA.
PMCID: PMC1560136  PMID: 16928277
2.  Comparison of Whole Genome Amplification Methods for Analysis of DNA Extracted from Microdissected Early Breast Lesions in Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded Tissue 
ISRN Oncology  2012;2012:710692.
To understand cancer progression, it is desirable to study the earliest stages of its development, which are often microscopic lesions. Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is a valuable high-throughput molecular approach for discovering DNA copy number changes; however, it requires a relatively large amount of DNA, which is difficult to obtain from microdissected lesions. Whole genome amplification (WGA) methods were developed to increase DNA quantity; however their reproducibility, fidelity, and suitability for formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples are questioned. Using aCGH analysis, we compared two widely used approaches for WGA: single cell comparative genomic hybridization protocol (SCOMP) and degenerate oligonucleotide primed PCR (DOP-PCR). Cancer cell line and microdissected FFPE breast cancer DNA samples were amplified by the two WGA methods and subjected to aCGH. The genomic profiles of amplified DNA were compared with those of non-amplified controls by four analytic methods and validated by quantitative PCR (Q-PCR). We found that SCOMP-amplified samples had close similarity to non-amplified controls with concordance rates close to those of reference tests, while DOP-amplified samples had a statistically significant amount of changes. SCOMP is able to amplify small amounts of DNA extracted from FFPE samples and provides quality of aCGH data similar to non-amplified samples.
PMCID: PMC3317021  PMID: 22530150
3.  Specific and complete human genome amplification with improved yield achieved by phi29 DNA polymerase and a novel primer at elevated temperature 
BMC Research Notes  2009;2:48.
Whole genome amplification (WGA) is a practical solution to eliminate molecular analysis limitations associated with genomic DNA (gDNA) quantity. Different methods have been developed to amplify the whole genome, including primer extension preamplification (PEP), degenerate oligonucleotide primed PCR (DOP-PCR), and multiple displacement amplification (MDA). Each of these methods has its own merits and limitations.
Effects of primer length and composition on amplification quality and quantity were explored in this study at two different temperatures (30°C & 40°C). New primer designs combined with elevated amplification temperature has significantly improved MDA as measured by amplification yield, genome coverage, and allele drop out (ADO) analysis. A remarkable finding was the comprehensive amplification, at 30°C & 40°C, of the human whole genome via the use of GGGCAGGA*N*G hotspot recombination consensus primer. Amplification was characterized by Affymetrix 10K SNP chip analysis. Finally, the use of new primer designs has suppressed the template-independent DNA amplification (TIDA) both at 30°C and 40°C.
The use of new primers in this study combined with elevated incubation temperatures in MDA has remarkably improved the specificity, amplification yield, and suppressed TIDA.
PMCID: PMC2663774  PMID: 19309528
4.  Use of laser microdissection for the construction of Humulus japonicus Siebold et Zuccarini, 1846 (Cannabaceae) sex chromosome-specific DNA library and cytogenetics analysis 
Comparative Cytogenetics  2014;8(4):323-336.
Dioecy is relatively rare among plant species, and distinguishable sex chromosomes have been reported in few dioecious species. The multiple sex chromosome system (XX/XY1Y2) of Humulus japonicus Siebold et Zuccarini, 1846 differs from that of other members of the family Cannabaceae, in which the XX/XY chromosome system is present. Sex chromosomes of Humulus japonicus were isolated from meiotic chromosome spreads of males by laser microdissection with the P.A.L.M. MicroLaser system. The chromosomal DNA was directly amplified by degenerate oligonucleotide primed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR). Fast fluorescence in situ hybridization (FAST-FISH) using a labeled, chromosome-specific DOP-PCR product as a probe showed preferential hybridization to sex chromosomes. In addition, the DOP-PCR product was used to construct a short-insert, Humulus japonicus sex chromosomes-specific DNA library. The randomly sequenced clones showed that about 12% of them have significant homology to Humulus lupulus and 88% to Cannabis sativa Linnaeus, 1753 sequences from GenBank database. Forty-four percent of the sequences show homology to plant retroelements. It was concluded that laser microdissection is a useful tool for isolating the DNA of sex chromosomes of Humulus japonicus and for the construction of chromosome-specific DNA libraries for the study of the structure and evolution of sex chromosomes. The results provide the potential for identifying unique or sex chromosome-specific sequence elements in Humulus japonicus and could aid in the identification of sex chromosome-specific repeat and coding regions through chromosome isolation and genome complexity reduction.
PMCID: PMC4296719  PMID: 25610546
Laser microdissection; plant sex chromosomes; fluorescence in situ hybridization; chromosome-specific DNA
5.  Direct fluorescent labelling of clones by DOP PCR 
Array Comparative Genomic Hybridisation (array CGH) is a powerful technique for the analysis of constitutional chromosomal anomalies. Chromosomal duplications or deletions detected by array CGH need subsequently to be validated by other methods. One method of validation is Fluorescence in situ Hybridisation (FISH). Traditionally, fluorophores or hapten labelling is performed by nick translation or random prime labelling of purified Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) products. However, since the array targets have been generated from Degenerate Oligonucleotide Primed (DOP) amplified BAC clones, we aimed to use these DOP amplified BAC clones as the basis of an automated FISH labelling protocol. Unfortunately, labelling of DOP amplified BAC clones by traditional labelling methods resulted in high levels of background.
We designed an improved labelling method, by means of degenerate oligonucleotides that resulted in optimal FISH probes with low background.
We generated an improved labelling method for FISH which enables the rapid generation of FISH probes without the need for isolating BAC DNA. We labelled about 900 clones with this method with a success rate of 97%.
PMCID: PMC2375879  PMID: 18471308
6.  Atomic Force Microscope nanolithography on chromosomes to generate single-cell genetic probes 
Chromosomal dissection provides a direct advance for isolating DNA from cytogenetically recognizable region to generate genetic probes for fluorescence in situ hybridization, a technique that became very common in cyto and molecular genetics research and diagnostics. Several reports describing microdissection methods (glass needle or a laser beam) to obtain specific probes from metaphase chromosomes are available. Several limitations are imposed by the traditional methods of dissection as the need for a large number of chromosomes for the production of a probe. In addition, the conventional methods are not suitable for single chromosome analysis, because of the relatively big size of the microneedles. Consequently new dissection techniques are essential for advanced research on chromosomes at the nanoscale level.
We report the use of Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) as a tool for nanomanipulation of single chromosomes to generate individual cell specific genetic probes. Besides new methods towards a better nanodissection, this work is focused on the combination of molecular and nanomanipulation techniques which enable both nanodissection and amplification of chromosomal and chromatidic DNA. Cross-sectional analysis of the dissected chromosomes reveals 20 nm and 40 nm deep cuts. Isolated single chromosomal regions can be directly amplified and labeled by the Degenerate Oligonucleotide-Primed Polymerase Chain Reaction (DOP-PCR) and subsequently hybridized to chromosomes and interphasic nuclei.
Atomic force microscope can be easily used to visualize and to manipulate biological material with high resolution and accuracy. The fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) performed with the DOP-PCR products as test probes has been tested succesfully in avian microchromosomes and interphasic nuclei. Chromosome nanolithography, with a resolution beyond the resolution limit of light microscopy, could be useful to the construction of chromosome band libraries and to the molecular cytogenetic mapping related to the investigation of genetic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3135514  PMID: 21708050
7.  Quantification of Trace-Level DNA by Real-Time Whole Genome Amplification 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28661.
Quantification of trace amounts of DNA is a challenge in analytical applications where the concentration of a target DNA is very low or only limited amounts of samples are available for analysis. PCR-based methods including real-time PCR are highly sensitive and widely used for quantification of low-level DNA samples. However, ordinary PCR methods require at least one copy of a specific gene sequence for amplification and may not work for a sub-genomic amount of DNA. We suggest a real-time whole genome amplification method adopting the degenerate oligonucleotide primed PCR (DOP-PCR) for quantification of sub-genomic amounts of DNA. This approach enabled quantification of sub-picogram amounts of DNA independently of their sequences. When the method was applied to the human placental DNA of which amount was accurately determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), an accurate and stable quantification capability for DNA samples ranging from 80 fg to 8 ng was obtained. In blind tests of laboratory-prepared DNA samples, measurement accuracies of 7.4%, −2.1%, and −13.9% with analytical precisions around 15% were achieved for 400-pg, 4-pg, and 400-fg DNA samples, respectively. A similar quantification capability was also observed for other DNA species from calf, E. coli, and lambda phage. Therefore, when provided with an appropriate standard DNA, the suggested real-time DOP-PCR method can be used as a universal method for quantification of trace amounts of DNA.
PMCID: PMC3235147  PMID: 22174862
8.  Antioxidant Enzyme Activity and Meat Quality of Meat Type Ducks Fed with Dried Oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) Powder 
One-day-old Cherry valley meat-strain ducks were used to investigate the effect of supplemental dried oregano powder (DOP) in feed on the productivity, antioxidant enzyme activity, and breast meat quality. One hundred sixty five ducks were assigned to 5 dietary treatments for 42 days. The dietary treatment groups were control group (CON; no antibiotic, no DOP), antibiotic group (ANT; CON+0.1% Patrol), 0.1% DOP (CON+0.1% DOP), 0.5% DOP (CON+0.5% DOP), and 1.0% DOP (CON+1.0% DOP). Upon feeding, 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activity of oregano extracts was higher than that of tocopherol, although it was less than that of ascorbic acid. As a result of in vivo study, DOP in the diet showed no effects on final body weight, feed intake, or feed conversion ratio. However, dietary 0.5% and 1% DOP supplementation caused a significant increase in the serum enzyme activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) compared with CON and ANT, while glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in tissue was increased as compared to ANT (p<0.05). Cooking loss from ducks fed with DOP decreased compared with the control ducks. Thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) values of duck breast meat at 5 d post slaughter was found to be significantly reduced in ducks whose diets were supplemented with 0.5% and 1% DOP (p<0.05). These results suggest that diets containing 0.5% and 1% DOP may beneficially affect antioxidant enzyme activity of GPx and SOD, improve meat cooking loss, and reduce TBARS values in breast meat at 5 d of storage in ducks.
PMCID: PMC4283191  PMID: 25557678
Antioxidant Enzyme Activity; Duck; Meat Quality; Oregano; Phenolic Compound
9.  Chromosome specific comparative genome hybridisation for determining the origin of intrachromosomal duplications. 
Journal of Medical Genetics  1998;35(1):37-41.
Chromosome specific comparative genome hybridisation (CGH) is a novel approach for the detection of cytogenetic abnormalities. It combines flow sorting of chromosomes, degenerate oligonucleotide primed (DOP)-PCR and a modified comparative genome hybridisation (CGH) technique to define the site and extent of intrachromosomal duplications. Chromosome specific paint probes for aberrant chromosomes and their normal homologues from four subjects with unbalanced duplications within chromosomes 2p11-15, 3q25-26, 5q34-qter, and 12q23-24.2 were made. They were then cohybridised on normal metaphase spreads and the ratio of their relative intensities of hybridisation analysed. The results were compared to those of similar experiments where regular CGH was performed on the same four patients. We provide evidence that this method can detect duplications and deficiencies which might be missed by conventional CGH, as the ratio of hybridisation of abnormal/normal DNA is 2:1 rather than 3:2. It is the method of choice where mosaicism is present or where only one of several homologous chromosomes is duplicated. Furthermore, it suggests that DOP-PCR amplifies all or most of the euchromatic regions of the genome equally.
PMCID: PMC1051184  PMID: 9475092
10.  A Dry Powder Formulation of Liposome-Encapsulated Recombinant Secretory Leukocyte Protease Inhibitor (rSLPI) for Inhalation: Preparation and Characterisation 
AAPS PharmSciTech  2010;11(3):1411-1421.
Inhaled recombinant secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (rSLPI) has shown potential for the treatment of inflammatory lung conditions. Rapid inactivation of rSLPI by cathepsin L (Cat L) and rapid clearance from the lungs has limited clinical efficacy to date. Previous studies by us have shown that encapsulation of rSLPI within1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho-L-serine]/cholesterol (DOPS/Chol) liposomes protects rSLPI against Cat L inactivation in vitro. Liquid DOPS–rSLPI preparations were found to be unstable upon long-term storage and nebulisation. The aim of this study was therefore to develop a method of manufacture for preparing DOPS–rSLPI liposomes as a dry powder for inhalation. DOPS–rSLPI dry powders were lyophilised and subsequently micronised with a novel micronisation aid. The effects of formulation and processing on rSLPI stability, activity, and uniformity of content within the powders were characterised. Using D-mannitol as the micronisation aid, dry powder particles in the inhalable size range (<5 μm) were prepared. By optimising process parameters, up to 54% of rSLPI was recovered after micronisation, of which there was no significant loss in anti-neutrophil elastase activity and no detectable evidence of protein degradation. Aerosolisation was achieved using a dry powder inhaler, and mass median aerodynamic diameter (MMAD) was evaluated after collection in a cascade impactor. Aerosolisation of the DOPS–rSLPI dry powder yielded 38% emitted dose, with 2.44 μm MMAD. When challenged with Cat L post-aerosolisation, DOPS–rSLPI dry powder was significantly better at retaining a protective function against Cat L-induced rSLPI inactivation compared to the aqueous DOPS–rSLPI liposome dispersion and was also more stable under storage.
PMCID: PMC2974130  PMID: 20839079
liposome; powder; protein; pulmonary; rSLPI
11.  Effects of DNA mass on multiple displacement whole genome amplification and genotyping performance 
BMC Biotechnology  2005;5:24.
Whole genome amplification (WGA) promises to eliminate practical molecular genetic analysis limitations associated with genomic DNA (gDNA) quantity. We evaluated the performance of multiple displacement amplification (MDA) WGA using gDNA extracted from lymphoblastoid cell lines (N = 27) with a range of starting gDNA input of 1–200 ng into the WGA reaction. Yield and composition analysis of whole genome amplified DNA (wgaDNA) was performed using three DNA quantification methods (OD, PicoGreen® and RT-PCR). Two panels of N = 15 STR (using the AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® panel) and N = 49 SNP (TaqMan®) genotyping assays were performed on each gDNA and wgaDNA sample in duplicate. gDNA and wgaDNA masses of 1, 4 and 20 ng were used in the SNP assays to evaluate the effects of DNA mass on SNP genotyping assay performance. A total of N = 6,880 STR and N = 56,448 SNP genotype attempts provided adequate power to detect differences in STR and SNP genotyping performance between gDNA and wgaDNA, and among wgaDNA produced from a range of gDNA templates inputs.
The proportion of double-stranded wgaDNA and human-specific PCR amplifiable wgaDNA increased with increased gDNA input into the WGA reaction. Increased amounts of gDNA input into the WGA reaction improved wgaDNA genotyping performance. Genotype completion or genotype concordance rates of wgaDNA produced from all gDNA input levels were observed to be reduced compared to gDNA, although the reduction was not always statistically significant. Reduced wgaDNA genotyping performance was primarily due to the increased variance of allelic amplification, resulting in loss of heterozygosity or increased undetermined genotypes. MDA WGA produces wgaDNA from no template control samples; such samples exhibited substantial false-positive genotyping rates.
The amount of gDNA input into the MDA WGA reaction is a critical determinant of genotyping performance of wgaDNA. At least 10 ng of lymphoblastoid gDNA input into MDA WGA is required to obtain wgaDNA TaqMan® SNP assay genotyping performance equivalent to that of gDNA. Over 100 ng of lymphoblastoid gDNA input into MDA WGA is required to obtain optimal STR genotyping performance using the AmpFlSTR® Identifiler® panel from wgaDNA equivalent to that of gDNA.
PMCID: PMC1249558  PMID: 16168060
12.  Whole genome amplification and real-time PCR in forensic casework 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:159.
WGA (Whole Genome Amplification) in forensic genetics can eliminate the technical limitations arising from low amounts of genomic DNA (gDNA). However, it has not been used to date because any amplification bias generated may complicate the interpretation of results. Our aim in this paper was to assess the applicability of MDA to forensic SNP genotyping by performing a comparative analysis of genomic and amplified DNA samples. A 26-SNPs TaqMan panel specifically designed for low copy number (LCN) and/or severely degraded genomic DNA was typed on 100 genomic as well as amplified DNA samples.
Aliquots containing 1, 0.1 and 0.01 ng each of 100 DNA samples were typed for a 26-SNPs panel. Similar aliquots of the same DNA samples underwent multiple displacement amplification (MDA) before being typed for the same panel. Genomic DNA samples showed 0% PCR failure rate for all three dilutions, whilst the PCR failure rate of the amplified DNA samples was 0% for the 1 ng and 0.1 ng dilutions and 0.077% for the 0.01 ng dilution. The genotyping results of both the amplified and genomic DNA samples were also compared with reference genotypes of the same samples obtained by direct sequencing. The genomic DNA samples showed genotype concordance rates of 100% for all three dilutions while the concordance rates of the amplified DNA samples were 100% for the 1 ng and 0.1 ng dilutions and 99.923% for the 0.01 ng dilution. Moreover, ten artificially-degraded DNA samples, which gave no results when analyzed by current forensic methods, were also amplified by MDA and genotyped with 100% concordance.
We investigated the suitability of MDA material for forensic SNP typing. Comparative analysis of amplified and genomic DNA samples showed that a large number of SNPs could be accurately typed starting from just 0.01 ng of template. We found that the MDA genotyping call and accuracy rates were only slightly lower than those for genomic DNA. Indeed, when 10 pg of input DNA was used in MDA, we obtained 99.923% concordance, indicating a genotyping error rate of 1/1299 (7.7 × 10-4). This is quite similar to the genotyping error rate of STRs used in current forensic analysis. Such efficiency and accuracy of SNP typing of amplified DNA suggest that MDA can also generate large amounts of genome-equivalent DNA from a minimal amount of input DNA. These results show for the first time that MDA material is suitable for SNP-based forensic protocols and in general when samples fail to give interpretable STR results.
PMCID: PMC2675535  PMID: 19366436
13.  Detection of SYT–SSX fusion transcripts in both epithelial and spindle cell areas of biphasic synovial sarcoma using laser capture microdissection 
Molecular Pathology  2000;53(2):107-110.
To investigate the distribution of tumour cells expressing the SYT–SSX fusion gene in biphasic synovial sarcoma, modified reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) analysis was performed using microdissected specimens from haematoxylin and eosin stained sections of archival paraffin wax embedded tissues. This modified RT–PCR included a stage with degenerate oligonucleotide primed (DOP) PCR, which randomly amplified cDNA after reverse transcription. SYT–SSX fusion transcripts were detected in both epithelial and spindle cell areas of all three biphasic synovial sarcomas examined. Subsequent sequence analysis confirmed that the detected messages were derived from the SYT–SSX1 fusion gene in two cases and from SYT–SSX2 in one. These results indicate that SYT–SSX fusion transcripts are found in both epithelial and spindle cell areas of biphasic synovial sarcoma, and RT–DOP–PCR–PCR analysis is a useful method for detection of extremely small amounts of mRNA in microdissected samples from archival formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded tumour tissues.
PMCID: PMC1186914  PMID: 10889911
biphasic synovial sarcoma; SYT-SSX fusion transcript; degenerated oligonucleotide primed polymerase chain reaction; laser capture microdissection
14.  Multiplex-Ready PCR: A new method for multiplexed SSR and SNP genotyping 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:80.
Microsatellite (SSR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are widely used in plant breeding and genomic research. Thus, methods to improve the speed and efficiency of SSR and SNP genotyping are highly desirable. Here we describe a new method for multiplex PCR that facilitates fluorescence-based SSR genotyping and the multiplexed preparation of DNA templates for SNP assays.
We show that multiplex-ready PCR can achieve a high (92%) success rate for the amplification of published sequences under standardised reaction conditions, with a PCR specificity comparable to that of conventional PCR methods. We also demonstrate that multiplex-ready PCR supports an improved level of multiplexing in plant genomes of varying size and ploidy, without the need to carefully optimize assay conditions. Several advantages of multiplex-ready PCR for SSR and SNP genotyping are demonstrated and discussed. These include the uniform amplification of target sequences within multiplexed reactions and between independent assays, and the ability to label amplicons during PCR with specialised moieties such fluorescent dyes and biotin.
Multiplex-ready PCR provides several technological advantages that can facilitate fluorescence-based SSR genotyping and the multiplexed preparation of DNA templates for SNP assays. These advantages can be captured at several points in the genotyping process, and offer considerable cost and labour savings. Multiplex-ready PCR is broadly applicable to plant genomics and marker assisted breeding, and should be transferable to any animal or plant species.
PMCID: PMC2275739  PMID: 18282271
15.  Use of a universal virus detection assay to identify human metapneumovirus in a hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipient with pneumonia of unknown origin 
Development of uncommon viral infections in immunocompromised transplant recipients can pose major diagnostic challenges. We present a case report of an immunocompromised patient suffering from pneumonia, for which the causative agent was not identified by routine methods.
To identify the potential cause of the pneumonia using a degenerate oligonucleotide primer (DOP) PCR assay which is designed to detect all viruses.
Study Design
DOP-PCR was applied to bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from this patient. Generic PCR products were cloned and sequenced.
The novel universal virus assay detected human metapneumovirus in the clinical sample. The finding was confirmed by two independent metapneumovirus specific PCRs targeting independent regions of the viral genome.
The DOP PCR was used to detect and identify the sequence of an unidentified virus. This study provides proof of concept for the use on clinically relevant specimens of this unbiased universal assay, which requires no previous viral sequence information.
PMCID: PMC2663017  PMID: 19250860
Virus discovery; virus detection; immunocompromised host; virus disease diagnosis; virus disease etiology
16.  Genetic Alterations in Intrahepatic Cholangiocarcinoma as revealed by Degenerate Oligonucleotide Primed PCR-Comparative Genomic Hybridization 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(5):682-687.
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC), a malignant neoplasm of the biliary epithelium, is usually fatal because of difficulty in early diagnosis and lack of availability of effective therapy. The genetic mechanisms involved in the development of ICC are not well understood and only a few cytogenetic studies of ICC have been published. Recently, technique of degenerate oligonucleotide primed (DOP)-PCR comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) permits genetic imbalances screening of the entire genome using only small amounts of tumor DNA. In this study chromosomal aberrations in 33 Korean ICC were investigated by DOP-PCR CGH. The common sites of copy number increases were 20q (67%), 17 (61%), 11q11-q13 (42%), 8p12-qter (39%), 18p (39%), 15q22-qter (36%), 16p (36%), 6p21 (30%), 3q25-qter (27%), 1q41-qter (24%), and 5p14-q11.2 (24%). DNA amplification was identified in 16 carcinomas (48%). The frequent sites of amplification were 20q, 17p, 17q23-qter, and 7p. The most frequent sites of copy number decreases were 1p32-pter (21%) and 4q (21%). The recurrent chromosomal aberrations identified in this study provide candidate regions involved in the tumorigenesis and progression of ICC.
PMCID: PMC2816331  PMID: 15483344
Cholangiocarcinoma, Chromosome Aberrations, Comparative Genomic Hybridization; Polymerase Chain Reaction
17.  A Novel Bocavirus Associated with Acute Gastroenteritis in Australian Children 
PLoS Pathogens  2009;5(4):e1000391.
Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a common illness affecting all age groups worldwide, causing an estimated three million deaths annually. Viruses such as rotavirus, adenovirus, and caliciviruses are a major cause of AGE, but in many patients a causal agent cannot be found despite extensive diagnostic testing. Proposing that novel viruses are the reason for this diagnostic gap, we used molecular screening to investigate a cluster of undiagnosed cases that were part of a larger case control study into the etiology of pediatric AGE. Degenerate oligonucleotide primed (DOP) PCR was used to non-specifically amplify viral DNA from fecal specimens. The amplified DNA was then cloned and sequenced for analysis. A novel virus was detected. Elucidation and analysis of the genome indicates it is a member of the Bocavirus genus of the Parvovirinae, 23% variant at the nucleotide level from its closest formally recognized relative, the Human Bocavirus (HBoV), and similar to the very recently proposed second species of Bocavirus (HBoV2). Fecal samples collected from case control pairs during 2001 for the AGE study were tested with a bocavirus-specific PCR, and HBoV2 (sequence confirmed) was detected in 32 of 186 cases with AGE (prevalence 17.2%) compared with only 15 controls (8.1%). In this same group of children, HBoV2 prevalence was exceeded only by rotavirus (39.2%) and astrovirus (21.5%) and was more prevalent than norovirus genogroup 2 (13.4%) and adenovirus (4.8%). In a univariate analysis of the matched pairs (McNemar's Test), the odds ratio for the association of AGE with HBoV2 infection was 2.6 (95% confidence interval 1.2–5.7); P = 0.007. During the course of this screening, a second novel bocavirus was detected which we have designated HBoV species 3 (HBoV3). The prevalence of HBoV3 was low (2.7%), and it was not associated with AGE. HBoV2 and HBoV3 are newly discovered bocaviruses, of which HBoV2 is the thirdmost-prevalent virus, after rotavirus and astrovirus, associated with pediatric AGE in this study.
Author Summary
Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is a common illness affecting all age groups worldwide, causing an estimated three million deaths annually. However, in many patients a causal agent cannot be found despite extensive diagnostic testing. Proposing that novel viruses are the reason for this diagnostic gap, we screened fecal samples from symptomatic children using a molecular degenerate amplification technique and detected the presence of a novel parvovirus, Human Bocavirus species 2 (HBoV2). The genome of HBoV2 is 23% variant from its closest relative, the human bocavirus, a member of the Bocavirus genus of the Parvovirinae. Using specific amplification assays, we then found HBoV2 was the thirdmost-prevalent virus detected in samples from symptomatic children in a case control study of AGE. Further, we found virus presence was associated with symptoms. During this screening, we detected a second related parvovirus, which we have named Human Bocavirus species 3 (HBoV3), but the prevalence was low and not associated with symptoms. The discovery of HBoV2 has reduced the diagnostic gap, but more studies are required to further investigate its role in AGE.
PMCID: PMC2663820  PMID: 19381259
18.  Fluorescent Duplex Allele-Specific PCR and Amplicon Melting for Rapid Homogeneous mtDNA Haplogroup H Screening and Sensitive Mixture Detection 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(12):e8374.
For large scale studies aiming at a better understanding of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), sequence variation in particular mt haplogroups (hgs) and population structure, reliable low-cost high-throughput genotyping assays are needed. Furthermore, methods facilitating sensitive mixture detection and relative quantification of allele proportions are indispensable for the study of heteroplasmy, mitochondrial sequence evolution, and mitochondrial disorders. Here the properties of a homogeneous competitive duplex allele specific PCR (ARMS) assay were scrutinized in the light of these requirements.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A duplex ARMS assay amplifying either the ancestral mtDNA 2706G allele (non-hg H samples) or the derived 7028C allele (hg H samples) in the presence of SYBR Green fluorescent reporter dye was developed and characterized. Product detection, allele calling, and hg inference were based on the amplicon-characteristic melting-point temperatures obtained with on-line post-PCR fluorescent dissociation curve analysis (DCA). The analytical window of the assay covered at least 5 orders of magnitude of template DNA input with a detection limit in the low picogram range of genomic DNA. A set of forensically relevant test specimens was analyzed successfully. The presence of mtDNA mixtures was detected over a broad range of input DNA amounts and mixture ratios, and the estimation of allele proportions in samples with known total mtDNA content was feasible with limitations. A qualified DNA analyst successfully analyzed ∼2,200 DNA extracts within three regular working days, without using robotic lab-equipment. By performing the amplification on-line, the assay also facilitated absolute mtDNA quantification.
Although this assay was developed just for a particular purpose, the approach is general in that it is potentially suitable in a broad variety of assay-layouts for many other applications, including the analysis of mixtures. Homogeneous ARMS-DCA is a valuable tool for large-volume studies targeting small numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
PMCID: PMC2793010  PMID: 20020064
19.  Direct selection of cDNAs using whole chromosomes. 
Nucleic Acids Research  1995;23(21):4415-4420.
We have developed a method for direct selection of cDNAs using whole chromosomes as target DNA. Double-strand cDNAs were synthesized from human fetal brain polyadenylated mRNAs. Flow-sorted chromosomes 17 and 19 were amplified by degenerate oligonucleotide primed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR) and used to capture ds cDNAs by an improved magnetic bead capture protocol. To demonstrate the capabilities of this method, the selected cDNAs were used as probes in FISH experiments. The selected cDNA populations specifically painted chromosomes 17 or 19 on metaphase spreads. These results demonstrate that it is possible to do chromosome painting using cDNA probes and that this method is a means to rapidly select expressed sequences encoded by any portion of the genome.
PMCID: PMC307398  PMID: 7501464
20.  Two-temperature LATE-PCR endpoint genotyping 
BMC Biotechnology  2006;6:44.
In conventional PCR, total amplicon yield becomes independent of starting template number as amplification reaches plateau and varies significantly among replicate reactions. This paper describes a strategy for reconfiguring PCR so that the signal intensity of a single fluorescent detection probe after PCR thermal cycling reflects genomic composition. The resulting method corrects for product yield variations among replicate amplification reactions, permits resolution of homozygous and heterozygous genotypes based on endpoint fluorescence signal intensities, and readily identifies imbalanced allele ratios equivalent to those arising from gene/chromosomal duplications. Furthermore, the use of only a single colored probe for genotyping enhances the multiplex detection capacity of the assay.
Two-Temperature LATE-PCR endpoint genotyping combines Linear-After-The-Exponential (LATE)-PCR (an advanced form of asymmetric PCR that efficiently generates single-stranded DNA) and mismatch-tolerant probes capable of detecting allele-specific targets at high temperature and total single-stranded amplicons at a lower temperature in the same reaction. The method is demonstrated here for genotyping single-nucleotide alleles of the human HEXA gene responsible for Tay-Sachs disease and for genotyping SNP alleles near the human p53 tumor suppressor gene. In each case, the final probe signals were normalized against total single-stranded DNA generated in the same reaction. Normalization reduces the coefficient of variation among replicates from 17.22% to as little as 2.78% and permits endpoint genotyping with >99.7% accuracy. These assays are robust because they are consistent over a wide range of input DNA concentrations and give the same results regardless of how many cycles of linear amplification have elapsed. The method is also sufficiently powerful to distinguish between samples with a 1:1 ratio of two alleles from samples comprised of 2:1 and 1:2 ratios of the same alleles.
SNP genotyping via Two-Temperature LATE-PCR takes place in a homogeneous closed-tube format and uses a single hybridization probe per SNP site. These assays are convenient, rely on endpoint analysis, improve the options for construction of multiplex assays, and are suitable for SNP genotyping, mutation scanning, and detection of DNA duplication or deletions.
PMCID: PMC1698914  PMID: 17144924
21.  A Novel Role for Ecdysone in Drosophila Conditioned Behavior: Linking GPCR-Mediated Non-canonical Steroid Action to cAMP Signaling in the Adult Brain 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(10):e1003843.
The biological actions of steroid hormones are mediated primarily by their cognate nuclear receptors, which serve as steroid-dependent transcription factors. However, steroids can also execute their functions by modulating intracellular signaling cascades rapidly and independently of transcriptional regulation. Despite the potential significance of such “non-genomic” steroid actions, their biological roles and the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood, particularly with regard to their effects on behavioral regulation. The major steroid hormone in the fruit fly Drosophila is 20-hydroxy-ecdysone (20E), which plays a variety of pivotal roles during development via the nuclear ecdysone receptors. Here we report that DopEcR, a G-protein coupled receptor for ecdysteroids, is involved in activity- and experience-dependent plasticity of the adult central nervous system. Remarkably, a courtship memory defect in rutabaga (Ca2+/calmodulin-responsive adenylate cyclase) mutants was rescued by DopEcR overexpression or acute 20E feeding, whereas a memory defect in dunce (cAMP-specific phosphodiestrase) mutants was counteracted when a loss-of-function DopEcR mutation was introduced. A memory defect caused by suppressing dopamine synthesis was also restored through enhanced DopEcR-mediated ecdysone signaling, and rescue and phenocopy experiments revealed that the mushroom body (MB)—a brain region central to learning and memory in Drosophila—is critical for the DopEcR-dependent processing of courtship memory. Consistent with this finding, acute 20E feeding induced a rapid, DopEcR-dependent increase in cAMP levels in the MB. Our multidisciplinary approach demonstrates that DopEcR mediates the non-canonical actions of 20E and rapidly modulates adult conditioned behavior through cAMP signaling, which is universally important for neural plasticity. This study provides novel insights into non-genomic actions of steroids, and opens a new avenue for genetic investigation into an underappreciated mechanism critical to behavioral control by steroids.
Author Summary
The brain is a prominent target of steroid hormones, which control a variety of neurobiological processes and are critical to the regulation of behavior. Some effects of these hormones involve changes in gene expression and thus emerge slowly, over the course of hours or even days. Other responses to steroids occur rapidly and are independent of transcriptional regulation. Their functions and mechanisms of action are poorly understood, particularly in the context of steroid-mediated control of behavior. Here we show, using the genetic model organism Drosophila melanogaster (the fruit fly), that an unconventional, membrane-bound receptor for the molting hormone ecdysone transmits a novel form of steroid signaling in the adult brain. Our study shows that this novel form of steroid signaling has a robust interface with the classical “memory genes” that encode central components of the so-called cAMP signaling pathway, which is universally important for neuronal and behavioral plasticity. These findings underscore the significance of steroid signaling in memory processing, and provide a foundation for the genetic analysis of rapid, unconventional steroid signaling in behavioral regulation.
PMCID: PMC3794910  PMID: 24130506
22.  De novo-generated small palindromes are characteristic of amplicon boundary junction of double minutes 
Double minutes (DMs) are hallmarks of gene amplification. However, their molecular structure and the mechanisms of formation are largely unknown. To elucidate the structure and underlying molecular mechanism of DMs, we obtained and cloned DMs using microdissection; and degenerated oligonucleotide primed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR) from the ovarian cancer cell line UACC-1598. Two large amplicons, the 284 kb AmpMYCN, originating from locus 2p24.3 and the 391 kb AmpEIF5A2, from locus 3q26.2, were found co-amplified on the same DMs. The two amplicons are joined through a complex 7 kb junction DNA sequence. Analysis of the junction has revealed three de novo created small palindromes surrounding the six breakpoints. Consistent with these observations, we further found that 70% of the 57 reported DM junction sequences have de novo creation of small palindromic sequences surrounding the breakpoints. Together, our findings indicate that de novo-generated small palindromic sequences are characteristic of amplicon boundary junctions on DMs. It is possible that the de novo-generated small palindromic sequences, which may be generated through non-homologous end joining in concert with a novel DNA repair machinery, play a common role in amplicon rejoining and gene amplification.
PMCID: PMC3734650  PMID: 23382041
gene amplification; double minutes; junction sequence; amplicon boundary palindrome; cancer
23.  The Caenorhabditis elegans D2-like dopamine receptor DOP-2 physically interacts with GPA-14, a Gαi subunit 
Dopaminergic inputs are sensed on the cell surface by the seven-transmembrane dopamine receptors that belong to a superfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Dopamine receptors are classified as D1-like or D2-like receptors based on their homology and pharmacological profiles. In addition to well established G-protein coupled mechanism of dopamine receptors in mammalian system they can also interact with other signaling pathways. In C. elegans four dopamine receptors (dop-1, dop-2, dop-3 and dop-4) have been reported and they have been implicated in a wide array of behavioral and physiological processes. We performed this study to assign the signaling pathway for DOP-2, a D2-like dopamine receptor using a split-ubiquitin based yeast two-hybrid screening of a C. elegans cDNA library with a novel dop-2 variant (DOP-2XL) as bait. Our yeast two-hybrid screening resulted in identification of gpa-14, as one of the positively interacting partners. gpa-14 is a Gα coding sequence and shows expression overlap with dop-2 in C. elegans ADE deirid neurons. In-vitro pull down assays demonstrated physical coupling between dopamine receptor DOP-2XL and GPA-14. Further, we sought to determine the DOP-2 region necessary for GPA-14 coupling. We generated truncated DOP-2XL constructs and performed pair-wise yeast two-hybrid assay with GPA-14 followed by in-vitro interaction studies and here we report that the third intracellular loop is the key domain responsible for DOP-2 and GPA-14 coupling. Our results show that the extra-long C. elegans D2-like receptor is coupled to gpa-14 that has no mammalian homolog but shows close similarity to inhibitory G-proteins. Supplementing earlier investigations, our results demonstrate the importance of an invertebrate D2-like receptor's third intracellular loop in its G-protein interaction.
PMCID: PMC3297496  PMID: 22280843
Dopamine receptor; G-protein; GPCR; Gα; split-ubiquitin; yeast two-hybrid; Caenorhabditis elegans
24.  A “Genome-to-Lead” Approach for Insecticide Discovery: Pharmacological Characterization and Screening of Aedes aegypti D1-like Dopamine Receptors 
Many neglected tropical infectious diseases affecting humans are transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes and ticks. New mode-of-action chemistries are urgently sought to enhance vector management practices in countries where arthropod-borne diseases are endemic, especially where vector populations have acquired widespread resistance to insecticides.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We describe a “genome-to-lead” approach for insecticide discovery that incorporates the first reported chemical screen of a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) mined from a mosquito genome. A combination of molecular and pharmacological studies was used to functionally characterize two dopamine receptors (AaDOP1 and AaDOP2) from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Sequence analyses indicated that these receptors are orthologous to arthropod D1-like (Gαs-coupled) receptors, but share less than 55% amino acid identity in conserved domains with mammalian dopamine receptors. Heterologous expression of AaDOP1 and AaDOP2 in HEK293 cells revealed dose-dependent responses to dopamine (EC50: AaDOP1 = 3.1±1.1 nM; AaDOP2 = 240±16 nM). Interestingly, only AaDOP1 exhibited sensitivity to epinephrine (EC50 = 5.8±1.5 nM) and norepinephrine (EC50 = 760±180 nM), while neither receptor was activated by other biogenic amines tested. Differential responses were observed between these receptors regarding their sensitivity to dopamine agonists and antagonists, level of maximal stimulation, and constitutive activity. Subsequently, a chemical library screen was implemented to discover lead chemistries active at AaDOP2. Fifty-one compounds were identified as “hits,” and follow-up validation assays confirmed the antagonistic effect of selected compounds at AaDOP2. In vitro comparison studies between AaDOP2 and the human D1 dopamine receptor (hD1) revealed markedly different pharmacological profiles and identified amitriptyline and doxepin as AaDOP2-selective compounds. In subsequent Ae. aegypti larval bioassays, significant mortality was observed for amitriptyline (93%) and doxepin (72%), confirming these chemistries as “leads” for insecticide discovery.
This research provides a “proof-of-concept” for a novel approach toward insecticide discovery, in which genome sequence data are utilized for functional characterization and chemical compound screening of GPCRs. We provide a pipeline useful for future prioritization, pharmacological characterization, and expanded chemical screening of additional GPCRs in disease-vector arthropods. The differential molecular and pharmacological properties of the mosquito dopamine receptors highlight the potential for the identification of target-specific chemistries for vector-borne disease management, and we report the first study to identify dopamine receptor antagonists with in vivo toxicity toward mosquitoes.
Author Summary
Mosquitoes and other arthropods transmit important disease-causing agents affecting human health worldwide. There is an urgent need to discover new chemistries to control these pests in order to reduce or eliminate arthropod-borne diseases. We describe an approach to identify and evaluate potential insecticide targets using publicly available genome (DNA) sequence information for arthropod disease vectors. We demonstrate the utility of this approach by first determining the molecular and pharmacological properties of two different dopamine (neurotransmitter) receptors of the yellow fever- and dengue-transmitting mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Next, we tested 1,280 different chemistries for their ability to interact with one of these dopamine receptors in a chemical screen, and 51 “hit” compounds were identified. Finally, we show that two of these chemistries, amitriptyline and doxepin, are selective for the mosquito over the human dopamine receptor and that both chemistries caused significant mortality in mosquito larvae 24 hours after exposure, identifying them as possible “leads” for insecticide development. Our methodology is adaptable for chemical screening of related targets in mosquitoes and other arthropod vectors of disease. This research demonstrates the potential of target-specific approaches that could complement traditional phenotypic screening, and ultimately may accelerate discovery of new mode-of-action insecticides for vector control.
PMCID: PMC3265452  PMID: 22292096
25.  A simple and efficient method for microdissection and microFISH. 
Journal of Medical Genetics  1998;35(4):265-268.
A simple and efficient method for the dissection of (marker) chromosomes, (micro)nuclei, and chromosome regions is presented. Before microdissection, metaphases are overlaid with milli-Q water to rehydrate the chromosomes, which makes them soft and sticky. The dissected chromosome fragments are dissolved without proteinase-K or topoisomerase treatment and directly amplified using a degenerate oligonucleotide primed polymerase chain reaction (DOP-PCR). The advantages of this microFISH method over previously reported methods are: (1) microdissection in this way is very fast; (2) a chromosome, marker, (micro)nucleus, or chromosome region is collected as a whole using only one microneedle; (3) the dissected material sticks tightly to the needle without the risk of getting lost; (4) no Sequenase is used in the DOP-PCR reaction which reduces the risk of contamination.
PMCID: PMC1051270  PMID: 9598716

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