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Heat-transfer-based detection of SNPs in the PAH gene of PKU patients

Authors Vanden Bon N, van Grinsven B, Murib M, Yeap WS, Haenen K, De Ceuninck W, Wagner P, Ameloot M, Vermeeren V, Michiels L

Received 4 December 2013

Accepted for publication 10 January 2014

Published 27 March 2014 Volume 2014:9(1) Pages 1629—1640


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Natalie Vanden Bon,1 Bart van Grinsven,2 Mohammed Sharif Murib,2 Weng Siang Yeap,2 Ken Haenen,2,3 Ward De Ceuninck,2,3 Patrick Wagner,2,3 Marcel Ameloot,1 Veronique Vermeeren,1 Luc Michiels1

1Biomedical Research Institute, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium; 2Institute for Materials Research, Hasselt University, Diepenbeek, Belgium; 3IMOMEC, Diepenbeek, Belgium

Abstract: Conventional neonatal diagnosis of phenylketonuria is based on the presence of abnormal levels of phenylalanine in the blood. However, for carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis, direct detection of disease-correlated mutations is needed. To speed up and simplify mutation screening in genes, new technologies are developed. In this study, a heat-transfer method is evaluated as a mutation-detection technology in entire exons of the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene. This method is based on the change in heat-transfer resistance (Rth) upon thermal denaturation of dsDNA (double-stranded DNA) on nanocrystalline diamond. First, ssDNA (single-stranded DNA) fragments that span the size range of the PAH exons were successfully immobilized on nanocrystalline diamond. Next, it was studied whether an Rth change could be observed during the thermal denaturation of these DNA fragments after hybridization to their complementary counterpart. A clear Rth shift during the denaturation of exon 5, exon 9, and exon 12 dsDNA was observed, corresponding to lengths of up to 123 bp. Finally, Rth was shown to detect prevalent single-nucleotide polymorphisms, c.473G>A (R158Q), c.932T>C (p.L311P), and c.1222C>T (R408W), correlated with phenylketonuria, displaying an effect related to the different melting temperatures of homoduplexes and heteroduplexes.

Keywords: mutation detection, heat-transfer resistance, melting temperature, nanocrystalline diamond, persistence length

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