Detection of DNA double-strand breaks and chromosome translocations using ligation-mediated PCR and inverse PCR.

Michael J. Villalobos, Christopher J. Betti, Andrew T M Vaughan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Current techniques for examining the global creation and repair of DNA double-strand breaks are restricted in their sensitivity, and such techniques mask any site-dependent variations in breakage and repair rate or fidelity. We present here a system for analyzing the fate of documented DNA breaks, using the MLL gene as an example, through application of ligation-mediated PCR. Here, a simple asymmetric double-stranded DNA adapter molecule is ligated to experimentally induced DNA breaks and subjected to seminested PCR using adapter and gene-specific primers. The rate of appearance and loss of specific PCR products allows detection of both the break and its repair. Using the additional technique of inverse PCR, the presence of misrepaired products (translocations) can be detected at the same site, providing information on the fidelity of the ligation reaction in intact cells. Such techniques may be adapted for the analysis of DNA breaks introduced into any identifiable genomic location.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-121
Number of pages13
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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