Detection limit of intragenic deletions with targeted array comparative genomic hybridization
1 Medical Neurogenetics LLC, 5424 Glenridge Drive, Atlanta, GA, USA
2 Oxford Gene Technology, Baylor College Medicine, 520 white Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591, Houston, TX, USA
3 Emory Genetics Laboratory, Department of Human Genetics, Emory University, 2165 N Decatur Road, Decatur, GA 30033, USA
BMC Genetics 2013, 14:116 doi:10.1186/1471-2156-14-116Published: 5 December 2013
Pathogenic mutations range from single nucleotide changes to deletions or duplications that encompass a single exon to several genes. The use of gene-centric high-density array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) has revolutionized the detection of intragenic copy number variations. We implemented an exon-centric design of high-resolution aCGH to detect single- and multi-exon deletions and duplications in a large set of genes using the OGT 60 K and 180 K arrays. Here we describe the molecular characterization and breakpoint mapping of deletions at the smaller end of the detectable range in several genes using aCGH.
The method initially implemented to detect single to multiple exon deletions, was able to detect deletions much smaller than anticipated. The selected deletions we describe vary in size, ranging from over 2 kb to as small as 12 base pairs. The smallest of these deletions are only detectable after careful manual review during data analysis. Suspected deletions smaller than the detection size for which the method was optimized, were rigorously followed up and confirmed with PCR-based investigations to uncover the true detection size limit of intragenic deletions with this technology. False-positive deletion calls often demonstrated single nucleotide changes or an insertion causing lower hybridization of probes demonstrating the sensitivity of aCGH.
With optimizing aCGH design and careful review process, aCGH can uncover intragenic deletions as small as dozen bases. These data provide insight that will help optimize probe coverage in array design and illustrate the true assay sensitivity. Mapping of the breakpoints confirms smaller deletions and contributes to the understanding of the mechanism behind these events. Our knowledge of the mutation spectra of several genes can be expected to change as previously unrecognized intragenic deletions are uncovered.