Document Type


Publication Date

July 2003


This article originally appeared in BMC Biotechnology 3:11, 23 July 2005, doi:10.1186/1472-6750-3-11.

The BMC version may be found online at:

© 2003 Butz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL.



The identification of known mutations in a cell population is important for clinical applications and basic cancer research. In this work an immobilized form of the polymerase chain reaction, referred to as polony technology, was used to detect mutations as well as gene deletions, resulting in loss of heterozygosity (LOH), in cancer cell lines. Specifically, the mutational hotspots in p53, namely codons 175, 245, 248, 249, 273, and 282, and K-ras2, codons 12, 13 and 61, were genotyped in the pancreatic cell line, Panc-1. In addition LOH analysis was also performed for these same two genes in Panc-1 by quantifying the relative gene copy number of p53 and K-ras2.


Using polony technology, Panc-1 was determined to possess only one copy of p53, which possessed a mutation in codon 273, and two copies of K-ras2, one wildtype and one with a mutation in codon 12. To further demonstrate the general approach of this method, polonies were also used to detect K-ras2 mutations in the pancreatic cell lines, AsPc-1 and CAPAN-1.


In conclusion, we have developed an assay that can detect mutations in hotspots of p53 and K-ras2 as well as diagnose LOH in these same genes.



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