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A Duplex Allele-Specific Amplification PCR to Detect SMN1 Deletion

Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers
Mary Ann Liebert
Publication Date
  • Medicine


Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), the leading genetic cause of death in childhood, is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness, associated with deletions of the survival motor neuron (SMN) gene identified and mapped to chromosome 5q13. SMN is present in two highly homologous copies (SMN1 and SMN2). In the general population, normal individuals (noncarriers) have at least one telomeric (SMN1) copy, and 5% of them have no copies of SMN2. Approximately 95% of SMA patients carry homologous deletions of SMN1 exon(s) 7 (and 8). SMN1 and SMN2 exons 7 and 8 differ only by 1 bp each, and SMA diagnosis might be performed by single-strand conformational polymorphism, PCR amplification followed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP), multiple ligation-dependent probe amplification, or realtime PCR of SMNs exons 7 and 8. We developed a simpler and cost-effective method to detect SMN1 exon 7 deletion based on allele-specific amplification PCR.

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