Long-range PCR is generally employed for the analysis of disease-causing mutations in genes with homologous pseudogene copies. However, long-range PCR is challenging when performed on single cells, as in preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) of monogenic disorders. PGD on single cells requires concurrent analysis of a mutation together with multiple linked polymorphic markers from closely related family members to prevent misdiagnosis. In PGD cases involving childless de novo mutation carriers, linkage cannot be performed based on family members but rather must first be identified in single gametes. This can be an especially difficult task if the mutation to be assayed lies in a duplicated genomic region because gene-specific long-range PCR must be coupled with short-range PCR analysis of genetic markers on single cells. Here, we describe a novel method by which accurate PGD of pseudogene-homologous mutations can be achieved. Essentially, we performed whole genome amplification on single sperm or blastomeres followed by haplotype construction and long-range PCR-based mutation analysis. This original and universal strategy was used to establish allelic association for two different mutations in genes with one or more pseudogene copies (IKBKG and PKD1). The method was also sensitive enough to detect unexpected germline mosaicism in one mutation carrier. This article describes an accurate method for the diagnosis of mutations in genes, with pseudogene copies, at the single cell level for preimplantation genetic diagnostic purposes. The method is sensitive enough to detect germline mosaicism in single gametes.
- Genetic diagnosis