A strategy for rapid construction of whole chromosome painting probes (WCPs) by chromosome microdissection has recently been developed. WCPs were prepared from 20 copies of each target chromosome microdissected from normal human metaphase chromosomes and then directly amplified by PCR using a universal primer. Fifteen WCPs, including chromosomes 1, 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, and X, have been generated using this strategy. The probe complexity and hybridization specificity of these WCPs have been characterized by gel electrophoresis and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Analysis of WCPs constructed by chromosome microdissection indicated that microdissected WCPs invariably provide strong and uniform signal intensity with no cytologically apparent cross-hybridization. To demonstrate the application of WCPs generated from microdissection, we have used these probes to detect complex chromosome rearrangements in a melanoma cell line, UM93-007. Two different translocations involving three chromosomes [t(1;3;13) and t(1;7;13)] have been identified, both of which were undetectable by conventional banding analysis. Further application of these WCPs (including generation of WCPs from mouse and other species) should greatly facilitate the cytogenetic analysis of complex chromosome rearrangements.
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