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Hye Kyung Chung ◽  
Julian B. Hattler ◽  
Jigna Narola ◽  
Harita Babbar ◽  
Yanhui Cai ◽  

We developed ddPCR assays to quantitatively measure HIV DNA and used this ddPCR assays to detect and quantitatively measure HIV DNA in the archived brain tissues from HIV patients. The tissue viral loads assessed by ddPCR was highly correlative with those assessed by qPCR.

2022 ◽  
Margaret Mills ◽  
Pooneh Hajian ◽  
Shah Mohamed Bakhash ◽  
Hong Xie ◽  
Derrek Mantzke ◽  

Background Mutations in the receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein are associated with increased transmission or substantial reductions in vaccine efficacy, including in the recently described Omicron variant. The changing frequencies of these mutations combined with their differing susceptibility to available therapies have posed significant problems for clinicians and public health professionals. Objective To develop an assay capable of rapidly and accurately identifying variants including Omicron in clinical specimens to enable case tracking and/or selection of appropriate clinical treatment. Study Design Using three duplex RT-ddPCR reactions targeting four amino acids, we tested 419 positive clinical specimens from February to December 2021 during a period of rapidly shifting variant prevalences and compared genotyping results to genome sequences for each sample, determining the sensitivity and specificity of the assay for each variant. Results Mutation determinations for 99.7% of detected samples agree with NGS data for those samples, and are accurate despite wide variation in RNA concentration and potential confounding factors like transport medium, presence of additional respiratory viruses, and additional mutations in primer and probe sequences. The assay accurately identified the first 15 Omicron variants in our laboratory including the first Omicron in Washington State and discriminated against S-gene dropout Delta specimen. Conclusion We describe an accurate, precise, and specific RT-ddPCR assay for variant detection that remains robust despite being designed prior the emergence of Delta and Omicron variants. The assay can quickly identify mutations in current and past SARS-CoV-2 variants, and can be adapted to future mutations.

Cancers ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 304
Eros Azzalini ◽  
Domenico Tierno ◽  
Michele Bartoletti ◽  
Renzo Barbazza ◽  
Giorgio Giorda ◽  

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is among the deadliest gynecological malignancies. The acquired resistance to platinum-based therapies and the intrinsic heterogeneity of the disease contribute to the low survival rate. To improve patients’ outcomes, new combinatorial approaches able to target different tumor vulnerabilities and enhance the efficacy of the current therapies are required. AKT inhibitors are promising antineoplastic agents able to act in synergy with PARP inhibitors, but the spectrum of patients who can benefit from this combination is unclear, since the role of the three different isoforms of AKT is still unknown. Here, we study the expression of AKT isoforms on a retrospective cohort of archive tissue by RT-droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) analyzing their association with the clinicopathological features of patients. Based on AKT1/AKT2 and AKT1/AKT3 ratios, we define four AKT classes which were related to patients’ survival, tumor morphology and BRCA1 expression. Moreover, our results show that high AKT3 expression levels were frequently associated with tumors having classic features, a low number of mitoses and the presence of psammoma bodies. Overall, our study obtains new insights on AKT isoforms and their associations with the clinicopathological features of HGSOC patients. These evidences could help to better define the subsets of patients who can benefit from AKT and PARP inhibitors therapy in future clinical trials.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Jan Hojny ◽  
Romana Michalkova ◽  
Eva Krkavcova ◽  
Quang Hiep Bui ◽  
Michaela Bartu ◽  

AbstractHepatocyte nuclear factor-1-beta (HNF1B) is a transcription factor and putative biomarker of solid tumours. Recently, we have revealed a variety of HNF1B mRNA alternative splicing variants (ASVs) with unknown, but potentially regulatory, functions. The aim of our work was to quantify the most common variants and compare their expression in tumour and non-tumour tissues of the large intestine, prostate, and kidney. The HNF1B mRNA variants 3p, Δ7, Δ7–8, and Δ8 were expressed across all the analysed tissues in 28.2–33.5%, 1.5–2%, 0.8–1.7%, and 2.3–6.9% of overall HNF1B mRNA expression, respectively, and occurred individually or in combination. The quantitative changes of ASVs between tumour and non-tumour tissue were observed for the large intestine (3p, Δ7–8), prostate (3p), and kidney samples (Δ7). Decreased expression of the overall HNF1B mRNA in the large intestine and prostate cancer samples compared with the corresponding non-tumour samples was observed (p = 0.019 and p = 0.047, respectively). The decreased mRNA expression correlated with decreased protein expression in large intestine carcinomas (p < 0.001). The qualitative and quantitative pattern of the ASVs studied by droplet digital PCR was confirmed by next-generation sequencing, which suggests the significance of the NGS approach for further massive evaluation of the splicing patterns in a variety of genes.

Diagnostics ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
pp. 114
José Guilherme Datorre ◽  
Ana Carolina de Carvalho ◽  
Mariana Bisarro dos Reis ◽  
Monise dos Reis ◽  
Marcus Matsushita ◽  

The use of droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) to identify and quantify low-abundance targets is a significant advantage for accurately detecting potentially oncogenic bacteria. Fusobacterium nucleatum (Fn) is implicated in colorectal cancer (CRC) tumorigenesis and is becoming an important prognostic biomarker. We evaluated the detection accuracy and clinical relevance of Fn DNA by ddPCR in a molecularly characterized, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) CRC cohort previously analyzed by qPCR for Fn levels. Following a ddPCR assay optimization and an analytical evaluation, Fn DNA were measured in 139 CRC FFPE cases. The measures of accuracy for Fn status compared to the prior results generated by qPCR and the association with clinicopathological and molecular patients’ features were also evaluated. The ddPCR-based Fn assay was sensitive and specific to positive controls. Fn DNA were detected in 20.1% of cases and further classified as Fn-high and Fn-low/negative, according to the median amount of Fn DNA that were detected in all cases and associated with the patient’s worst prognosis. There was a low agreement between the Fn status determined by ddPCR and qPCR (Cohen’s Kappa = 0.210). Our findings show that ddPCR can detect and quantify Fn in FFPE tumor tissues and highlights its clinical relevance in Fn detection in a routine CRC setting.

Benedicte Bang ◽  
Jesper Eisfeldt ◽  
Gisela Barbany ◽  
Arja Harila-Saari ◽  
Mats Heyman ◽  

Genetic analysis of leukemic clones in monozygotic twins with concordant ALL has proved a unique opportunity to gain insight into the molecular phylogenetics of leukemogenesis. Using whole genome sequencing, we characterized constitutional and somatic SNVs/indels and structural variants in a monozygotic twin pair with concordant ETV6-RUNX1 positive B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL). In addition, digital PCR (dPCR) was applied to evaluate the presence of and quantify selected somatic variants at birth, diagnosis and remission. A shared somatic complex rearrangement involving chromosomes 11, 12 and 21 with identical fusion sequences in leukemias of both twins offered direct proof of a common clonal origin. The ETV6-RUNX1 fusion detected at diagnosis was found to originate from this complex rearrangement. A shared somatic frameshift deletion in UBA2 was also identified in diagnostic samples. In addition, each leukemia independently acquired analogous deletions of three genes recurrently targeted in BCP-ALLs (ETV6, ATF7IP and RAG1/RAG2) providing evidence of a convergent clonal evolution, only explained by a strong concurrent selective pressure. Quantification of the UBA2 deletion by dPCR surprisingly indicated it persisted in remission. This, for the first time to our knowledge, provided evidence of a UBA2 variant preceding the well-established initiating event ETV6-RUNX1. Further, we suggest the UBA2 deletion exerted a leukemia predisposing effect and that its essential role in SUMOylation, regulating nearly all physiological and pathological cellular processes such as DNA-repair by non-homologous end joining, may hold a mechanistic explanation for the predisposition.

2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 257
Francis P. Young ◽  
Therese M. Becker ◽  
Mohammed Nimir ◽  
Thomas Opperman ◽  
Wei Chua ◽  

Androgen Receptor (AR) alterations (amplification, point mutations, and splice variants) are master players in metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) progression and central therapeutic targets for patient management. Here, we have developed two multiplexed droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) assays to detect AR copy number (CN) and the key point mutation T877A. Overcoming challenges of determining gene amplification from liquid biopsies, these assays cross-validate each other to produce reliable AR amplification and mutation data from plasma cell free DNA (cfDNA) of advanced prostate cancer (PC) patients. Analyzing a mixed PC patient cohort consisting of CRPC and hormone sensitive prostate cancer (HSPC) patients showed that 19% (9/47) patients had AR CN amplification. As expected, only CRPC patients were positive for AR amplification, while interestingly the T877A mutation was identified in two patients still considered HSPC at the time. The ddPCR based analysis of AR alterations in cfDNA is highly economic, feasible, and informative to provide biomarker detection that may help to decide on the best follow-up therapy for CRPC patients.

2022 ◽  
Vol 20 (1) ◽  
Panjaree Siwaponanan ◽  
Pontawee Kaewkumdee ◽  
Wilasinee Phromawan ◽  
Suthipol Udompunturak ◽  
Nusara Chomanee ◽  

Abstract Backgrounds Non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. AF is caused by electrophysiological abnormalities and alteration of atrial tissues, which leads to the generation of abnormal electrical impulses. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-bound vesicles released by all cell types. Large EVs (lEVs) are secreted by the outward budding of the plasma membrane during cell activation or cell stress. lEVs are thought to act as vehicles for miRNAs to modulate cardiovascular function, and to be involved in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), including AF. This study identified lEV-miRNAs that were differentially expressed between AF patients and non-AF controls. Methods lEVs were isolated by differential centrifugation and characterized by Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis (NTA), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. For the discovery phase, 12 AF patients and 12 non-AF controls were enrolled to determine lEV-miRNA profile using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction array. The candidate miRNAs were confirmed their expression in a validation cohort using droplet digital PCR (30 AF, 30 controls). Bioinformatics analysis was used to predict their target genes and functional pathways. Results TEM, NTA and flow cytometry demonstrated that lEVs presented as cup shape vesicles with a size ranging from 100 to 1000 nm. AF patients had significantly higher levels of lEVs at the size of 101–200 nm than non-AF controls. Western blot analysis was used to confirm EV markers and showed the high level of cardiomyocyte expression (Caveolin-3) in lEVs from AF patients. Nineteen miRNAs were significantly higher (> twofold, p < 0.05) in AF patients compared to non-AF controls. Six highly expressed miRNAs (miR-106b-3p, miR-590-5p, miR-339-3p, miR-378-3p, miR-328-3p, and miR-532-3p) were selected to confirm their expression. Logistic regression analysis showed that increases in the levels of these 6 highly expressed miRNAs associated with AF. The possible functional roles of these lEV-miRNAs may involve in arrhythmogenesis, cell apoptosis, cell proliferation, oxygen hemostasis, and structural remodeling in AF. Conclusion Increased expression of six lEV-miRNAs reflects the pathophysiology of AF that may provide fundamental knowledge to develop the novel biomarkers for diagnosis or monitoring the patients with the high risk of AF.

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