Volume 41, Issue 3 (May 1996)
Post-Amplification Primer Extension of Heat-Denatured AmpliType® PCR Products: Effects on Typing Results
Alleles of the HLA DQA1, LDLR, GYPA, HGBB, D7S8 and GC loci, which are amplified using the AmpliType® PM PCR Reaction Mix and Primer Set, can be detected using sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes immobilized on a nylon membrane strip. Using reagents supplied in AmpliType PCR Amplification and Typing Kits, patterns of blue dots corresponding to particular alleles are visualized on the DNA probe strips. Frequently, the correct interpretation of typing results is dependent not only on the presence of probe signals but also on their relative intensities. The relative probe signal intensities obtained from an undegraded DNA sample extracted from a single individual will be different from those obtained from degraded DNA and from samples containing DNA from more than one source. Because probe signal intensity is an essential consideration for interpretation, factors that can influence it need to be identified. Clearly, the time and temperature of the assay steps and the salt concentration in the typing solutions can affect probe signal intensity. Also, if heat-denatured PCR products are allowed to cool for several minutes, the strands will reanneal and become unavailable for binding to the probes immobilized on the strips. However, the selective loss of GC B and HLA DQA1 4.1 probe signals observed after shorter cooling times cannot be explained by these factors. We demonstrate that following heat denaturation of PM PCR products there is sufficient residual Taq DNA polymerase activity to extend primers as the solution cools and that this primer extension occurs at a more rapid rate than PCR product reannealing. Primer extension across probe binding sites will prevent hybridization of the PCR product to complementary probes on the strip. The extent of signal reduction is dependent on the position of the probe binding site relative to the 3′ ends of the primers and on the strand to which the probe is complementary. We recommend a simple modification to the AmpliType typing protocol to ensure all probe binding sites will be available for hybridization to PM and HLA DQA1 DNA probe strips.