Identification and localization of mutations at the Lesch-Nyhan locus by ribonuclease A cleavage

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Apr 1987:
Vol. 236, Issue 4799, pp. 303-305
DOI: 10.1126/science.3563511


Many mutations leading to human disease are the result of single DNA base pair changes that cannot be identified by Southern analysis. This has prompted the development of alternative assays for point mutation detection. The recently described ribonuclease A cleavage procedure, with a polyuridylic acid-paper affinity chromatography step, has been used to identify the mutational lesions in the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase (HPRT) messenger RNAs of patients with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. Distinctive ribonuclease A cleavage patterns were identified in messenger RNA from 5 of 14 Lesch-Nyhan patients who were chosen because no HPRT Southern or Northern blotting pattern changes had been found. This approach now allows HPRT mutation detection in 50 percent of the cases of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome. The polyuridylic acid-paper affinity procedure provides a general method for analysis of low abundance messenger RNAs.