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High-throughput genotyping by DHPLC of the dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene implicated in (fluoro)pyrimidine catabolism

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Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme in the degradation of pyrimidines and pyrimidine base analogs including the anticancer drugs 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and Xeloda®. A decreased DPD enzyme activity has been described in cancer patients experiencing severe and life-threatening toxicity after 5-FU treatment and distinct sequence variants in the DPD gene (DPYD) have been associated with impaired enzyme function. The most prominent mutation in the DPD deficient patient group, a mutation in the splicing donor consensus sequence of intron 14, IVS14+1g>a, resulting in a truncated protein, has been observed in the Caucasian population at frequencies as high as 0.91%-0.94%. This underlines the need for a test system for DPYD mutations in patients undergoing chemotherapy with 5-FU or with Xeloda. To set up a fast and sensitive method to identify variant DPYD alleles, we analyzed 50 healthy individuals by denaturing high performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC). A primer set spanning the whole coding region and the exon-intron boundaries of DPYD was used. In addition, a cDNA-based assay was developed to rapidly identify the 165 base pair deletion in the corresponding RNA of IVS14+1g>a mutation carriers. The optimal mutation detection was elaborated for each of the PCR fragments. DHPLC analysis detected 5 different genetic alterations occurring in the coding region of the gene, as well as 10 intronic sequence variants, respectively. In conclusion, high-throughput screening for DPYD variants by DHPLC may be a reliable tool in the investigation of the molecular basis of DPD deficiency. Furthermore, it will help to identify patients at risk for toxic side effects upon chemotherapy using 5-FU and will facilitate individual treatment of patients.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Technical University of Munich, D-81675 Munich, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • The International Journal of Oncology provides an international forum for the publication of the latest, cutting-edge research in the broad area of oncology and cancer treatment. The journal accepts original high quality works and reviews on all aspects of oncology research including carcinogenesis, metastasis, epidemiology, chemotherapy and viral oncology. Through fair and efficient peer review, the journal is dedicated to publishing top tier research in the field, offering authors rapid publication as well as high standards of copy-editing and production. The International Journal of Oncology is published on a monthly basis in both print and early online.
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