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A Streamlined and High-Throughput Error-Corrected Next-Generation Sequencing Method for Low Variant Allele Frequency Quantitation

Citation

McKinzie, Page B.; Bishop, Michelle E. (2019), A Streamlined and High-Throughput Error-Corrected Next-Generation Sequencing Method for Low Variant Allele Frequency Quantitation, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.jj4g11s

Abstract

Quantifying mutant or variable allele frequencies (VAFs) of ≤10−3 using next-generation sequencing (NGS) has utility in both clinical and nonclinical settings. Two common approaches for quantifying VAFs using NGS are tagged single-strand sequencing and duplex sequencing. While duplex sequencing is reported to have sensitivity up to 10−8 VAF, it is not a quick, easy, or inexpensive method. We report a method for quantifying VAFs that are ≥10−4 that is as easy and quick for processing samples as standard sequencing kits, yet less expensive than the kits. The method was developed using PCR fragment-based VAFs of Kras codon 12 in log10 increments from 10−5 to 10−1, then applied and tested on native genomic DNA. For both sources of DNA, there is a proportional increase in the observed VAF to input VAF from 10−4 to 100% mutant samples. Variability of quantitation was evaluated within experimental replicates and shown to be consistent across sample preparations. The error at each successive base read was evaluated to determine if there is a limit of read length for quantitation of ≥10−4, and it was determined that read lengths up to 70 bases are reliable for quantitation. The method described here is adaptable to various oncogene or tumor suppressor gene targets, with the potential to implement multiplexing at the initial tagging step. While easy to perform manually, it is also suited for robotic handling and batch processing of samples, facilitating detection and quantitation of genetic carcinogenic biomarkers before tumor formation or in normal-appearing tissue.

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