BMC biotechnology

A mutant screening method by critical annealing temperature-PCR for site-directed mutagenesis.

PMID 23497028


Distinguishing desired mutants from parental templates and undesired mutants is a problem not well solved in Quikchange™ mutagenesis. Although Dpn I digestion can eliminate methylated parental (WT) DNA, the efficiency is not satisfying due to the existence of hemi-methylated DNA in the PCR products, which is resistant to Dpn I. The present study designed a novel critical annealing temperature (T(c))-PCR to replace Dpn I digestion for more perfect mutant distinguishing, in which part-overlapping primers containing mutation(s) were used to reduce initial concentration of template DNA in mutagenic PCR. A T(c)-PCR with the same mutagenic primers was performed without Dpn I digestion. The T(c) for each pair of the primers was identified by gradient PCR. The relationship between PCR-identified T(c) and T(m) of the primers was analyzed and modeled with correlation and regression. Gradient PCR identified a T(c) for each of 14 tested mutagenic primers, which could discriminate mismatched parental molecules and undesired mutants from desired mutants. The PCR-identified T(c) was correlated to the primer's T(m) (r = 0.804, P<0.0001). Thus, in practical applications, the T(c) can be easily calculated with a regression equation, T(c)= 48.81 + 0.253*T(m). The new protocol introduced a novel T(c)-PCR method for mutant screening which can more efficiently and accurately select against parental molecules and undesired mutations in mutagenic sequence segments.

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