Amplification and characterization of the retinoblastoma gene VNTR by PCR

Stephen J. Scharf, Anne M. Bowcock, Gregg McClure, William Klitz, David W. Yandell, Henry A. Erlich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


VNTR regions are informative genetic markers for linkage mapping and individual identification. Using PCR, we have developed a procedure for the enzymatic amplification of the VNTR located in the 16th intron of the human retinoblastoma (RB1) gene. We have also prepared a nonisotopically labeled oligonucleotide probe which facilitates detection of the amplification products. In examining 250 individuals from four different populations, we have detected 11 alleles ranging from 650 to 1,800 bp in size. The core repeat is approximately 50 bp in length. On the basis of the observed allele frequencies for Caucasian, African-American, and Hispanic populations from the United States and for the Mexican Hispanic population, the heterozygosities have been calculated to be 62%, 75%, 61%, and 50%, respectively. The observed genotype frequencies do not deviate from the values expected under Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The effect of varying primer sequences, annealing temperature, and cycle number on the amplification are also discussed. Amplification of this marker may also prove useful for detecting the heterozygosity loss that is associated with tumor formation in retinoblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-381
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes


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