Multiplex PCR assay for screening deletions in the low density lipoprotein receptor gene

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: In different populations of the world, more than 150 genetic alterations of the LDL receptor gene have been identified; each of which can result in hypercholesterolaemia, but no hot spots in the gene were detected so far. Because of the existence of very variable genetic alterations in different ethnic communities, none of the assays developed for screening mutations/deletions in a population defined can be adapted to study the possible genetic defects. The present study was designed to develop a new, multiplex PCR-based, molecular biological method to screen the whole coding region of the LDL receptor gene. Methods: Using primer pairs completely flanking the promoter and the entire exonal region, in the PCR reactions 83-386-bp long, DNA sequences were synthesised in seven different reaction mixtures. The reaction conditions of the multiplex PCR system were optimised in order to synthesise all exons and the promoter region of the gene using only two annealing temperatures. The products could be visualised separately by agarose gel electrophoresis/ethidium bromide staining. Results: A rapid, effective test enabling the screening of DNA alterations in the entire LDL receptor gene was developed. Using this simple multiplex PCR assay, deletions affecting more than 10 bp in any part of the gene can be easily detected by a single agarose gel electrophoresis. Conclusions: The simplicity, specificity and versatility of the assay make it suitable system for routine screening of LDL receptor gene mutations in large population samples. This PCR assay can be recommended for screening of LDL-RG deletions in populations or groups at high risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
Number of pages6
JournalClinica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 23 2001


  • Deletions
  • Familiar hypercholesterolaemia (FH)
  • LDL receptor gene (LDL RG)
  • Multiplex PCR assay (M-PCR)
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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