Detecting low-abundance p16 and p53 mutations in pancreatic juice using a novel assay: Heteroduplex analysis of limiting dilution PCRs

Yansong Bian, Hiroyuki Matsubayashi, Chung Pin-Li, Tadayoshi Abe, Marcia Canto, Kathleen M. Murphy, Michael Goggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We have developed a simple, robust, highly-sensitive assay for identifying gene mutations in clinical samples. We applied this assay to detect p53 and p16 mutations in pancreatic juice obtained from patients undergoing evaluation and treatment of pancreatic disease. The assay strategy involves PCR amplifying DNA at limiting dilution (LD-PCR) followed by screening PCR products for mutations using temperature gradient capillary electrophoresis (TGCE). Compared to conventional TGCE, TGCE after LD-PCR significantly increased the number of detectable mutations in pancreatic duct juice. Using LD-PCR, mutations in p53 and/or p16 were found in the pancreatic juice of 12 of 20 individuals with pancreatic cancer compared to only 1 of 8 patients with chronic pancreatitis, 0 of 8 individuals without evidence of pancreatic disease (p < 0.02). We conclude that limiting dilution PCR is an effective strategy for improving the detection of mutations in clinical samples and when applied to pancreatic juice to detect mutations of p53 and/or p16, it can help distinguish patients with pancreatic cancer from those without evidence of pancreatic neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1399
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006



  • Limiting dilution
  • Mutation
  • Pancreatic adenocarcinoma
  • Pancreatic juice
  • Temperature gradient capillary electrophoresis
  • p16
  • p53

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research

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