Analysis of KRAS, NRAS and BRAF mutational profile by combination of in-tube hybridization and universal tag-microarray in tumor tissue and plasma of colorectal cancer patients

F Damin, S Galbiati, N Soriani, V Burgio, M Ronzoni, M Ferrari, M Chiari

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Microarray technology fails in detecting point mutations present in a small fraction of cells from heterogeneous tissue samples or in plasma in a background of wild-type cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). The aim of this study is to overcome the lack of sensitivity and specificity of current microarray approaches introducing a rapid and sensitive microarray-based assay for the multiplex detection of minority mutations of oncogenes (KRAS, NRAS and BRAF) with relevant diagnostics implications in tissue biopsies and plasma samples in metastatic colorectal cancer patients. In our approach, either wild-type or mutated PCR fragments are hybridized in solution, in a temperature gradient, with a set of reporters with a 5’ domain, complementary to the target sequences and a 3’ domain complementary to a surface immobilized probe. Upon specific hybridization in solution, which occurs specifically thanks to the temperature gradients, wild-type and mutated samples are captured at specific location on the surface by hybridization of the 3’ reporter domain with its complementary immobilized probe sequence. The most common mutations in KRAS, NRAS and BRAF genes were detected in less than 90 minutes in tissue biopsies and plasma samples of metastatic colorectal cancer patients. Moreover, the method was able to reveal mutant alleles representing less than 0,3% of total DNA. We demonstrated detection limits superior to those provided by many current technologies in the detection of RAS and BRAF gene superfamily mutations, a level of sensitivity compatible with the analysis of cell free circulating tumor DNA in liquid biopsy. © 2018 Damin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0207876
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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