Rapid cloning of expanded trinucleotide repeat sequences from genomic DNA

Michael D. Koob, Kellie A. Benzow, Thomas D. Bird, John W. Day, Melinda L. Moseley, Laura P.W. Ranum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Trinucleotide repeat expansions have been shown to cause a number of neurodegenerative diseases. A hallmark of most of these diseases is the presence of anticipation, a decrease in the age at onset in consecutive generations due to the tendency of the unstable trinucleotide repeat to lengthen when passed from one generation to the next. The involvement of trinucleotide repeat expansions in a number of other diseases including familial spastic paraplegia, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7; ref. 10)is suggested both by the presence of anticipation and by repeat expansion detection (RED) analysis of genomic DNA samples. The involvement of trinucleotide expansions in these diseases, however, can be conclusively confirmed only by the isolation of the expansions present in these populations and detailed analysis to assess each expansion as a possible pathogenic mutation. We describe a novel procedure for quick isolation of expanded trinucleotide repeats and the corresponding flanking nucleotide sequence directly from small amounts of genomic DNA by a process of Repeat Analysis, Pooled Isolation and Detection of individual clones containing expanded trinucleotide repeats (RAPID cloning). We have used this technique to clone the pathogenic SCA7 CAG expansion from an archived DNA sample of an individual affected with ataxia and retinal degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-75
Number of pages4
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


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