Sensitivity of electrospray ionization mass spectrometry detection of codon 249 mutations in the p53 gene compared with RFLP

Geng Sun Qian, Shuang Yuan Kuang, Xia He, John D. Groopman, Peta E. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has several major etiological risk factors, including infection with hepatitis viruses and exposure to aflatoxin B1. A specific missense mutation resulting from a guanine to thymine transversion at the third position of codon 249 in the p53 tumor suppressor gene has been reported in 10-70% of HCCs from areas of high dietary exposure to aflatoxin B1. This mutation has not only been detected in tumor samples but has also been measured in DNA isolated from the blood of patients with HCC in two separate studies by two independent methods: RFLP and short oligonucleotide mass analysis (SOMA), an electrospray ionization mass spectrometry technique. To compare the relative sensitivities of these methodologies, a set of serially diluted samples was analyzed by both techniques. The detection limits of RFLP and SOMA were 6% and 2.4% mutant alleles in the presence of wild-type alleles, respectively. When the DNA samples were predigested with HaeIII before SOMA, the detection limit was improved to 0.4% mutant allele in the presence of wildtype alleles. We have therefore found that SOMA is about 2.5-15-fold more sensitive than RFLP for detection of specific p53 mutations. A set of 26 DNA samples from HCC and normal liver was analyzed by RFLP and SOMA, and 5 samples were positive for the p53 mutation. An additional 4 samples were found to be positive for the mutation when SOMA was repeated after HaeIII predigestion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1126-1129
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10 I
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

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