Quantitative enriched PCR (QEPCR), a highly sensitive method for detection of K-ras oncogene mutation

ZE'Ev Ronai, Toshinari Minamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We have developed a rapid and highly sensitive method for the detection of mutant K-ras codon 12 allele in the presence of 105 copies of the wild- type alleles. This sensitivity is achieved by selective amplification of mutant K-ras sequences, using a two-stage procedure with modified primers. In the first stage, primers consist of K-ras sequences in the 3' portion and polyomavirus sequence (to minimize homology with human genome) on the 5' portion. The 3' portion also consists of mismatch sequence that generates an MvaI site in normal, but not mutant, K-ras codon 12 alleles. Thus, following the first round of 20 cycles, restriction enzyme cleavage is carried out to selectively digest normal Kras codon 12 alleles. To enrich mutant alleles, a second amplification is performed using tail primers that recognize the polyoma, but not human sequences. This design ensures that in the second amplification only mutant alleles that were pre-amplified in the first round would serve as template for this reaction. Ethidium bromide-stained polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) of second-stage PCR product that has been digested with MvaI is used to monitor the presence of mutant alleles, detected at sensitivity of 1/105. This technique offers high sensitive detection of mutant K-ras alleles using a new concept of tail- primer design and is likely to assist in identifying patients at risk to develop pancreatic, colon, or lung cancer, which harbor high incidence of mutant ras alleles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-325
Number of pages4
JournalHuman Mutation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


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