PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Biochemistry - Biophysics - Infectious Diseases - Molecular Biology - Physics - Science Policy - Virology

DNA Extraction Columns Contaminated with Murine Sequences
Published: Thursday, August 18, 2011
Author: Otto Erlwein et al.

by Otto Erlwein, Mark J. Robinson, Simon Dustan, Jonathan Weber, Steve Kaye, Myra O. McClure

Sequences of the novel gammaretrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) have been described in human prostate cancer tissue, although the amounts of DNA are low. Furthermore, XMRV sequences and polytropic (p) murine leukemia viruses (MLVs) have been reported in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In assessing the prevalence of XMRV in prostate cancer tissue samples we discovered that eluates from naïve DNA purification columns, when subjected to PCR with primers designed to detect genomic mouse DNA contamination, occasionally gave rise to amplification products. Further PCR analysis, using primers to detect XMRV, revealed sequences derived from XMRV and pMLVs from mouse and human DNA and DNA of unspecified origin. Thus, DNA purification columns can present problems when used to detect minute amounts of DNA targets by highly sensitive amplification techniques.