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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Hematology

Efficient Detection of Mediterranean ß-Thalassemia Mutations by Multiplex Single-Nucleotide Primer Extension
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Author: Biljana Atanasovska et al.

by Biljana Atanasovska, Georgi Bozhinovski, Dijana Plaseska-Karanfilska, Lyubomira Chakalova

ß-Thalassemias and abnormal hemoglobin variants are among the most common hereditary abnormalities in humans. Molecular characterization of the causative genetic variants is an essential part of the diagnostic process. In geographic areas with high hemoglobinopathy prevalence, such as the Mediterranean region, a limited number of genetic variants are responsible for the majority of hemoglobinopathy cases. Developing reliable, rapid and cost-effective mutation-specific molecular diagnostic assays targeting particular populations greatly facilitates routine hemoglobinopathy investigations. We developed a one-tube single-nucleotide primer extension assay for the detection of eight common Mediterranean ß-thalassemia mutations: Codon 5 (-CT); CCT(Pro)->C–, Codon 6 (-A); GAG(Glu)->G-G, Codon 8 (-AA); AAG(Lys)->–G, IVS-I-1 (G->A), IVS-I-6 (T->C), IVS-I-110 (G->A), Codon 39 (C->T), and IVS-II-745 (C->G), as well as the hemoglobin S variant beta 6(A3) Glu>Val. We validated the new assay using previously genotyped samples obtaining 100% agreement between independent genotyping methods. Our approach, applicable in a range of Mediterranean countries, offers a combination of high accuracy and rapidity exploiting standard techniques and widely available equipment. It can be further adapted to particular populations by including/excluding assayed mutations. We facilitate future modifications by providing detailed information on assay design.
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