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Rapid Detection of DNMT3A R882 Mutations in Hematologic Malignancies Using a Novel Bead-Based Suspension Assay with BNA(NC) Probes

Velizar Shivarov, Milena Ivanova, Elissaveta Naumova
PLoS ONE 9(6): e99769. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099769
Mutations in the human DNA methyl transferase 3A (DNMT3A) gene are recurrently identified in several hematologic malignancies such as Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), MPN/MDS overlap syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). They have been shown to confer worse prognosis in some of these entities. Notably, about 2/3 of these mutations are missense mutations in codon R882 of the gene. We aimed at the development and validation of a novel easily applicable in routine practice method for quantitative detection of the DNMT3A p.R882C/H/R/S mutations bead-based suspension assay. Initial testing on plasmid constructs showed excellent performance of BNA(NC)-modified probes with an optimal hybridization temperature of 66°C. The method appeared to be quantitative and showed sensitivity of 2.5% for different mutant alleles, making it significantly superior to direct sequencing. The assay was further validated on plasmid standards at different ratios between wild type and mutant alleles and on clinical samples from 120 patients with known or suspected myeloid malignancies. This is the first report on the quantitative detection of DNMT3A R882 mutations using bead-based suspension assay with BNA(NC)-modified probes. Our data showed that it could be successfully implemented in the diagnostic work-up for patients with myeloid malignancies, as it is rapid, easy and reliable in terms of specificity and sensitivity.