Journal Article

Simple, multiplexed, PCR-based barcoding of DNA enables sensitive mutation detection in liquid biopsies using sequencing

Anders Ståhlberg, Paul M. Krzyzanowski, Jennifer B. Jackson, Matthew Egyud, Lincoln Stein and Tony E. Godfrey

in Nucleic Acids Research

Volume 44, issue 11, pages e105-e105
Published in print June 2016 | ISSN: 0305-1048
Published online April 2016 | e-ISSN: 1362-4962 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkw224

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Detection of cell-free DNA in liquid biopsies offers great potential for use in non-invasive prenatal testing and as a cancer biomarker. Fetal and tumor DNA fractions however can be extremely low in these samples and ultra-sensitive methods are required for their detection. Here, we report an extremely simple and fast method for introduction of barcodes into DNA libraries made from 5 ng of DNA. Barcoded adapter primers are designed with an oligonucleotide hairpin structure to protect the molecular barcodes during the first rounds of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and prevent them from participating in mis-priming events. Our approach enables high-level multiplexing and next-generation sequencing library construction with flexible library content. We show that uniform libraries of 1-, 5-, 13- and 31-plex can be generated. Utilizing the barcodes to generate consensus reads for each original DNA molecule reduces background sequencing noise and allows detection of variant alleles below 0.1% frequency in clonal cell line DNA and in cell-free plasma DNA. Thus, our approach bridges the gap between the highly sensitive but specific capabilities of digital PCR, which only allows a limited number of variants to be analyzed, with the broad target capability of next-generation sequencing which traditionally lacks the sensitivity to detect rare variants.

Journal Article.  4562 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics ; Research Methods in Life Sciences

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