The two most commonly used methods to analyze data from real-time, quantitative PCR experiments are absolute quantification and relative quantification. Absolute quantification determines the input copy number, usually by relating the PCR signal to a standard curve. Relative quantification relates the PCR signal of the target transcript in a treatment group to that of another sample such as an untreated control. The 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method is a convenient way to analyze the relative changes in gene expression from real-time quantitative PCR experiments. The purpose of this report is to present the derivation, assumptions, and applications of the 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method. In addition, we present the derivation and applications of two variations of the 2(-Delta Delta C(T)) method that may be useful in the analysis of real-time, quantitative PCR data.
Molecular genetic maps are commonly constructed by analyzing the segregation of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) among the progeny of a sexual cross. Here we describe a new DNA polymorphism assay based on the amplification of random DNA segments with single primers of arbitrary nucleotide sequence. These polymorphisms, simply detected as DNA segments which amplify from one parent but not the other, are inherited in a Mendelian fashion and can be used to construct genetic maps in a variety of species. We suggest that these polymorphisms be called RAPD markers, after Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA.
We have developed a novel "real time" quantitative PCR method. The method measures PCR product accumulation through a dual-labeled fluorogenic probe (i.e., TaqMan Probe). This method provides very accurate and reproducible quantitation of gene copies. Unlike other quantitative PCR methods, real-time PCR does not require post-PCR sample handling, preventing potential PCR product carry-over contamination and resulting in much faster and higher throughput assays. The real-time PCR method has a very large dynamic range of starting target molecule determination (at least five orders of magnitude). Real-time quantitative PCR is extremely accurate and less labor-intensive than current quantitative PCR methods.
The complete nucleotide sequence of two human T-cell leukaemia type III (HTLV-III) proviral DNAs each have four long open reading frames, the first two corresponding to the gag and pol genes. The fourth open reading frame encodes two functional polypeptides, a large precursor of the major envelope glycoprotein and a smaller protein derived from the 3'-terminus long open reading frame analogous to the long open reading frame (lor) product of HTLV-I and -II.
Large-scale screening for known polymorphisms will require techniques with few steps and the ability to automate each of these steps. In this regard, the 5' nuclease, or TaqMan, PCR assay is especially attractive. A fluorogenic probe, consisting of an oligonucleotide labeled with both a fluorescent reporter dye and a quencher dye, is included in a typical PCR. Amplification of the probe-specific product causes cleavage of the probe, generating an increase in reporter fluorescence. By using different reporter dyes, cleavage of allele-specific probes can be detected in a single PCR. The 5' nuclease assay has been successfully used to discriminate alleles that differ by a single base substitution. Guidelines have been developed so that an assay for any single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) can be quickly designed and implemented. All assays are performed using a single reaction buffer and single thermocycling protocol. Furthermore, a standard method of analysis has been developed that enables automated genotype determination. Applications of this assay have included typing a number of polymorphisms in human drug metabolism genes.
The 5' nuclease PCR assay detects the accumulation of specific PCR product by hybridization and cleavage of a double-labeled fluorogenic probe during the amplification reaction. The probe is an oligonucleotide with both a reporter fluorescent dye and a quencher dye attached. An increase in reporter fluorescence intensity indicates that the probe has hybridized to the target PCR product and has been cleaved by the 5'-->3' nucleolytic activity of Taq DNA polymerase. In this study, probes with the quencher dye attached to an internal nucleotide were compared with probes with the quencher dye attached to the 3'-end nucleotide. In all cases, the reporter dye was attached to the 5' end. All intact probes showed quenching of the reporter fluorescence. In general, probes with the quencher dye attached to the 3'-end nucleotide exhibited a larger signal in the 5' nuclease PCR assay than the internally labeled probes. It is proposed that the larger signal is caused by increased likelihood of cleavage by Taq DNA polymerase when the probe is hybridized to a template strand during PCR. Probes with the quencher dye attached to the 3'-end nucleotide also exhibited an increase in reporter fluorescence intensity when hybridized to a complementary strand. Thus, oligonucleotides with reporter and quencher dyes attached at opposite ends can be used as homogeneous hybridization probes.
The D. melanogaster DNA segment in the recombinant phage lambda Dm2L1 contains at least eight copies of a tandemly repeated 1250-base pair (bp) sequence (henceforth called the 2L1 sequence). Testes from XO D. melanogaster males contain an abundant 800-base RNA species that is homologous to a 520-bp region of the 2L1 sequence. Blotting experiments show that the 2L1 sequence is repeated in the D. melanogaster genome and is present on both the X and Y chromosomes. With the use of X-Y translocations, the 2L1 sequence has been mapped to a region between kl-1 and kl-2 on the long arm of the Y chromosome. In Oregon-R wild type there are an estimated 200 copies of the 2L1 sequence on the X chromosome and probably at least 80 copies of the Y chromosome. In some other strains the repetition frequency on the Y chromosome is about the same, but the copy number on the X chromosome is much reduced. On the basis of the five strains investigated, there is a correlation between copy number of the 2L1 sequence on the X chromosome and the presence of a particular allele of the Stellate locus (Ste; 1-45.7). It seems that low copy number corresponds to Ste+ and high copy number corresponds to Ste. The Ste locus determines whether single or star-shaped crystals are observed in the spermatocytes of XO males. Studies using D. simulans and D. mauritiana DNA show that the 2L1 sequence is homologous to restriction fragments in male DNA but not female DNA, indicating that this sequence is present only on the Y chromosome in these two species. In DNA derived from D. erecta, D. teissieri and D. yakuba, there is very little, if any, hybridization with the 2L1 sequence probe.
The human dopamine D4 receptor contains a novel polymorphism within the putative third cytoplasmic loop of the protein. The polymorphism is characterized by a varying number of direct imperfect 48-bp repeats in the gene. Pharmacological characterization has suggested that this receptor is the site through which the atypical neuroleptic clozapine exerts its antipsychotic action and that some polymorphic variants display different pharmacological properties. Further analysis of the repeat region using innovative technologies indicates that the alleles vary not only in the number of repeats (2-8 or 10 repeat units) but also in the sequence of the repeats and the order in which they appear. In 178 unrelated chromosomes we have identified 19 different repeats in 25 different haplotypes coding for 18 different predicted amino acid sequences, making this one of the most variable functional proteins currently described.
There has been great interest in the prospects of using single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the search for complex disease genes, and several initiatives devoted to the identification and mapping of SNPs throughout the human genome are currently underway. However, actual data investigating the use of SNPs for identification of complex disease genes are scarce. To begin to look at issues surrounding the use of SNPs in complex disease studies, we have initiated a collaborative SNP mapping study around APOE, the well-established susceptibility gene for late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). Sixty SNPs in a 1.5-Mb region surrounding APOE were genotyped in samples of unrelated cases of AD, in controls, and in families with AD. Standard tests were conducted to look for association of SNP alleles with AD, in cases and controls. We also used family-based association analyses, including recently developed methods to look for haplotype association. Evidence of association (P</=.05) was identified for 7 of 13 SNPs, including the APOE-4 polymorphism, spanning 40 kb on either side of APOE. As expected, very strong evidence for association with AD was seen for the APOE-4 polymorphism, as well as for two other SNPs that lie <16 kb from APOE. Haplotype analysis using family data increased significance over that seen in single-locus tests for some of the markers, and, for these data, improved localization of the gene. Our results demonstrate that associations can be detected at SNPs near a complex disease gene. We found that a high density of markers will be necessary in order to have a good chance of including SNPs with detectable levels of allelic association with the disease mutation, and statistical analysis based on haplotypes can provide additional information with respect to tests of significance and fine localization of complex disease genes.
The dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) has an expressed polymorphism in the third exon that may have functional relevance. The polymorphism exists at two levels. At the higher level there is an imperfect tandem repeat of 48 base pairs (bp) coding for 16 amino acids; alleles have been identified with 2 (32 amino acids) to 10 (160 amino acids) repeats. The imperfect nature of the repeats is responsible for a more subtle level of variation since alleles with the same number of repeats can differ in the exact sequences or in the order of the variants of the 48-bp unit. We have undertaken a global survey of this expressed polymorphism as one approach to understanding the evolutionary significance and origins of the polymorphism as well as understanding what selective forces, if any, may be operating at this locus. As the first step, we have determined the repeat number genotype of the DRD4 repeat polymorphism in 1,327 individuals from 36 different populations. The allele frequencies differ considerably among the different populations. The 4-repeat allele was the most prevalent (global mean allele frequency = 64.3%) and appeared in every population with a frequency ranging from 0.16 to 0.96. The 7-repeat allele was the second most common (global mean = 20.6%), appearing quite frequently in the Americas (mean frequency = 48.3%) but only occasionally in East and South Asia (mean frequency = 1.9%). The 2-repeat allele was the third most common (global mean frequency = 8.2%) and was quite frequent in East and South Asia (mean frequency = 18.1%) while uncommon in the Americas (mean frequency = 2.9%) and Africa (mean frequency = 1.7%). The universality of the polymorphism with only three common repeat-number alleles (4, 7, and 2) indicates that the polymorphism is ancient and arose before the global dispersion of modern humans. The diversity of actual allele frequencies for this expressed polymorphism among different populations emphasizes the importance of population considerations in the design and interpretation of any association studies carried out with this polymorphism.
The heat shock loci of Drosophila melanogaster chromosome subdivisions 87A and 87C have been studied by using cloned DNA. Both sites contain a number of copies of a 2,4-kilobase (kb) region homologous to mRNA for the 70,000-dalton heat shock protein. In situ hybridization to chromosomal RNA shows that transcripts of this sequence accumulate at both sites after temperature elevation. At 87C there is a 1.5-kb repeated sequence homologous to another heat shock RNA. One cloned segment includes two to three tandem copies of this sequence located 0.8 kb from the beginning of a 2.4-kb message region. RNA complementary to the 1.5-kb repeat acccumulates at 87C after temperature elevation, but does not code for any known heat shock protein. In the sibling species D. simulans, there are sequences located and transcribed at 87A and 87C that are homologous to the melanogaster 2.4-kb message sequence. The 1.5-kb repeat, however, is absent from 87C in simulans and no heat shock RNA homologous to it can be detected.
We have determined the nucleotide sequence of the yeast ILV2 gene which codes for the amino acid biosynthetic enzyme acetolactate synthase (ALS). ALS has recently been shown to be the target in bacteria, yeast and plants, of the potent new herbicide sulfometuron methyl. The coding sequence for the ILV2 polypeptide contains 2061 base pairs. Comparison of deduced amino acid sequences indicates considerable conservation between the yeast protein and the large subunits of the E. coli ALS II and ALS III isozymes. A major distinction between the three proteins is the presence of an additional 90 amino acids at the amino terminal of the yeast protein. The amino acid sequence in this region shows similarities to yeast mitochondrial transit sequences and may function as such, since yeast ALS is localized in the mitochondria. Consensus sequences for initiation and termination of transcription that are consistent with the ends of the ILV2 mRNA, as well as general amino acid control regulatory sequences have been identified.
The X-linked Stellate locus contains two major size classes of a tandemly repeated gene. An example of each class has been sequenced. The steady-state level of Stellate RNA is much higher in XO testis than in XY testis. Sequencing of six cDNA clones derived from XO testis RNA shows that there are two major introns in the Stellate genes. Primer extension and RNase protection analyses show that these introns are spliced much more efficiently in XO than in XY testis. These results also indicate the major transcriptional start site for Stellate RNA. P element transformation results with a marked Stellate gene demonstrate that at least one of the genes sequenced contains a functional promoter, which generates low levels of RNA in XY testis and high levels of RNA in XO testis. This promoter does not contain a TATA element in the -30 region relative to the transcriptional start. Previous results had implicated a specific region of the Y chromosome, designated here as the Su(Ste) locus, in the control of the Stellate genes on the X. Analysis using segmental Y deficiencies shows that the Su(Ste) region suppresses both the high levels and efficient splicing of Stellate RNA.
A PCR-based assay for Listeria monocytogenes that uses the hydrolysis of an internal fluorogenic probe to monitor the amplification of the target has been formatted. The fluorogenic 5' nuclease PCR assay takes advantage of the endogenous 5' --> 3' nuclease activity of Taq DNA polymerase to digest a probe which is labelled with two fluorescent dyes and hybridizes to the amplicon during PCR. When the probe is intact, the two fluorophores interact such that the emission of the reporter dye is quenched. During amplification, the probe is hydrolyzed, relieving the quenching of the reporter and resulting in an increase in its fluorescence intensity. This change in reporter dye fluorescence is quantitative for the amount of PCR product and, under appropriate conditions, for the amount of template. We have applied the fluorogenic 5' nuclease PCR assay to detect L. monocytogenes, using an 858-bp amplicon of hemolysin (hlyA) as the target. Maximum sensitivity was achieved by evaluating various fluorogenic probes and then optimizing the assay components and cycling parameters. With crude cell lysates, the total assay could be completed in 3 h with a detection limit of approximately 50 CFU. Quantification was linear over a range of 5 x 10(1) to 5 x 10(5) CFU.
Males carrying a large deficiency in the long arm of the Y chromosome known to delete the fertility gene kl-2 are sterile and exhibit a complex phenotype: (1) First metaphase chromosomes are irregular in outline and appear sticky; (2) spermatids contain micronuclei; (3) the nebenkerns of the spermatids are nonuniform in size; (4) a high molecular weight protein ordinarily present in sperm is absent; and (5) crystals appear in the nucleus and cytoplasm of spermatocytes and spermatids. In such males that carry Ste+ on their X chromosome the crystals appear long and needle shaped; in Ste males the needles are much shorter and assemble into star-shaped aggregates. The large deficiency may be subdivided into two shorter component deficiencies. The more distal is male sterile and lacks the high molecular weight polypeptide; the more proximal is responsible for the remainder of the phenotype. Ste males carrying the more proximal component deficiency are sterile, but Ste+ males are fertile. Genetic studies of chromosome segregation in such males reveal that (1) both the sex chromosomes and the large autosomes undergo nondisjunction, (2) the fourth chromosomes disjoin regularly, (3) sex chromosome nondisjunction is more frequent in cells in which the second or third chromosomes nondisjoin than in cells in which autosomal disjunction is regular, (4) in doubly exceptional cells, the sex chromosomes tend to segregate to the opposite pole from the autosomes and (5) there is meiotic drive; i.e., reciprocal meiotic products are not recovered with equal frequencies, complements with fewer chromosomes being recovered more frequently than those with more chromosomes. The proximal component deficiency can itself be further subdivided into two smaller component deficiencies, both of which have nearly normal spermatogenic phenotypes as observed in the light microscope. Meiosis in Ste+ males carrying either of these small Y deficiencies is normal; Ste males, however, exhibit low levels of sex chromosome nondisjunction with either deficient Y. The meiotic phenotype is apparently sensitive to the amount of Y chromosome missing and to the Ste constitution of the X chromosome.
Many of the genes in the regulatory hierarchy controlling sex determination in Drosophila melanogaster are known. Here we examine how this regulatory hierarchy controls the expression of the structural genes encoding the female-specific yolk polypeptides. Temperature shift experiments with a temperature-sensitive allele of the sex determination regulatory gene transformer-2 (tra-2) showed that tra-2+ function is required in the adult for both the sex-specific initiation and maintenance of YP synthesis. Control of the YP genes by this regulatory hierarchy is at the level of transcription, or transcript stability. The results of temperature shift experiments with abdomens isolated from tra-2ts homozygotes support the notion that the tra-2+ function acts in a cell-autonomous manner to control YP synthesis. These results provide a paradigm for the way this regulatory hierarchy controls the terminal differentiation functions for sexually dimorphic development.
The genome of the virus associated with the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), human T-lymphotropic virus type III (HTLV-III), includes two open reading frames, not found in other retroviruses. One of these, designated 3' open reading frame (3'orf) is 648 base pairs (bp) in length, and overlaps with the 3' long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences. Sequences of additional HTLV-III clones were determined in order to estimate the level and location of variation within 3'orf, to gain some insight into the function of its protein product. Newly determined sequences are reported for 3'orf of two unintegrated clones of HTLV-III and three cDNA clones made from virion RNA derived from the same cell line infected with pooled blood samples of different patients with AIDS or AIDS-related complex symptoms (ARC). In addition, sequences for 3'orf were derived from an unintegrated viral clone derived from a different cell line infected with a distinct isolate from a single patient. These sequences are compared to those previously reported for six other viral clones. Sequences of 3'orf differ among clones by 1.1-10.4% bp and 2.4-17.0% of predicted amino acids. This represents significantly greater sequence variation than is found in the entire genome on average. Moreover, a functional proviral clone has a termination codon at amino acid residue 124 of this open reading frame. This raises questions concerning the structure, and regulation of expression of the protein encoded by 3'orf.
A detection system based on the PCR has been developed for Escherichia coli strains which harbor the Shiga-like toxin genes. This quantitative detection system involves the 5'-->3' nuclease activity of Thermus aquaticus DNA polymerase, which cleaves an internal oligonucleotide probe that has been labeled with both a fluorescent reporter dye (6-carboxy-fluorescein [FAM]) and a quencher dye (6-carboxytetramethyl-rhodamine [TAMRA]). Parameters which affected the performance of the assay included primer probe distance, probe concentration, and probe target sequence homology. The optimized assay format includes two PCR primers that generate a 497-bp amplicon specific for the sltI gene with the fluorogenic probe located 19 bp from the upstream PCR primer. When the distance between the upstream PCR primer and the probe was reduced from 190 to 19 bp, delta RQ values increased from approximately 1.5 to 3.0. The delta RQ for Shiga-like toxin I probe 102 reached a maximum of 4.15 at concentrations between 25 and 50 nM. The assay is sensitive and can detect approximately 10 +/- 5 CFU per PCR. As few as 0.5 CFU of Shiga-like toxin I-producing E. coli per g could be detected in ground beef with only 12 h of enrichment in modified E. coli broth.
Expression of the X-linked repeated Stellate (Ste) genes, which code for a protein with 38% similarity to the beta-subunit of casein kinase II, is suppressed by the Su(Ste) locus on the Y chromosome. The structure and evolution of the Y-linked repeats in the region of the Su(Ste) locus were studied. The 2800 bp repeats consist of three main elements: the region of homology to the Ste genes, an adjacent AT-rich, Y-specific segment, and mobile element 1360 inserted in the Ste sequence. Amplification of repeats was followed by point mutations, deletions, and insertions of mobile elements. DNA sequencing shows that these repeats may be considered as Ste pseudogenes or as damaged variants of a putative gene(s) encoding a protein quite different from the Ste protein as a result of an alternative splicing pattern. A comparison of 5 variants of the Y-Su(Ste) repeats shows a number of recombination events between amplified and diverged sequences that could be due to either multiple unequal mitotic sister-chromatid exchanges or to gene conversion. It is a first demonstration on a molecular level of these processes occurring in heterochromatic non-rDNA tandemly organized sequences in an eukaryotic genome.
The AML1/ETO fusion transcript can be detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in patients with t(8;21)-associated acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in long-term complete remission (CR). Quantitation of the amount of the fusion transcript during CR may therefore be more predictive of cure or relapse than a simple qualitative assessment. Real Time PCR, a fluorometric-based technique, allows simple and rapid quantitation of a target sequence during the extension phase of PCR amplification, in contrast to end-point quantitative methods. Six patients with t(8;21)(q22;q22) AML, who achieved CR were studied by Real Time RT-PCR at different time intervals following diagnosis and high-dose cytarabine and anthracycline-based induction therapy. Five patients had a diagnostic bone marrow (BM) sample available for molecular analysis. Each patient showed > or = 10(3) copies of the AML1/ETO fusion transcript at diagnosis, and each showed a 2- to 4-log decrease in copy number following successful induction chemotherapy. This is comparable to the log-fold reduction in leukemic blasts that is thought to occur in patients successfully cytoreduced into CR by induction chemotherapy. The sixth patient showed a relatively high copy number immediately following successful remission induction chemotherapy, which continued to increase during early CR and was later followed by relapse. Real Time RT-PCR appears to offer advantages over previously used quantitative RT-PCR methods by providing absolute quantitation of the target sequence, expanding the dynamic range of quantitation to over six orders of magnitude, eliminating the post-PCR processing, and reducing labor and carryover contamination. These features make this an attractive method to prospectively evaluate the prognostic value of AML1/ETO fusion transcript quantitation in a larger patient population with t(8;21)(q22;q22) AML in CR.
Single-nucleotide variations are the most widely distributed genetic markers in the human genome. A subset of these variations, the substitution mutations, are responsible for most genetic disorders. As single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers are being developed for molecular diagnosis of genetic disorders and large-scale population studies for genetic analysis of complex traits, a simple, sensitive, and specific test for single nucleotide changes is highly desirable. In this report we describe the development of a homogeneous DNA detection method that requires no further manipulations after the initial reaction is set up. This assay, named dye-labeled oligonucleotide ligation (DOL), combines the PCR and the oligonucleotide ligation reaction in a two-stage thermal cycling sequence with fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) detection monitored in real time. Because FRET occurs only when the donor and acceptor dyes are in close proximity, one can infer the genotype or mutational status of a DNA sample by monitoring the specific ligation of dye-labeled oligonucleotide probes. We have successfully applied the DOL assay to genotype 10 SNPs or mutations. By designing the PCR primers and ligation probes in a consistent manner, multiple assays can be done under the same thermal cycling conditions. The standardized design and execution of the DOL assay means that it can be automated for high-throughput genotyping in large-scale population studies.
The dopamine D4 receptor is one of five receptors known to function in mammalian dopaminergic pathways. The DNA sequence of the human dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) has previously been investigated in several populations and found to be highly polymorphic at both the DNA and amino acid levels, exhibiting at least 25 alleles. This variation results from differences in the number and DNA sequence of a 48-bp (16-amino acid) repeat unit in the coding region of DRD4. In the present study, DRD4 DNA sequence was examined in at least two individuals from each of five nonhuman primate species. All five species exhibit intraspecies variability, including both single nucleotide substitutions and variation in the number of 48-bp repeat units. No differences were found between the two alleles of one individual from a sixth nonhuman species. Within each species, all of the DRD4 alleles share species-specific features, indicating that while repeat-unit variation is nearly ubiquitous, ancestral variation has been lost and subsequently regenerated in each of the evolutionary lineages studied. Chimpanzees and gorillas share a unique 12-bp deletion in the coding region of DRD4, outside the repeat-unit segment of the gene. This suggest that the extant chimpanzee DRD4 is more closely related to the gorilla DRD4 than either is to the human DRD4.