UNIT 7.2 Detection of Mutations by RNase Cleavage

  1. Hugh C. Watkins1,
  2. Marianna Goldrick2

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142905.hg0702s14

Current Protocols in Human Genetics

Current Protocols in Human Genetics

How to Cite

Watkins, H. C. and Goldrick, M. 2001. Detection of Mutations by RNase Cleavage. Current Protocols in Human Genetics. 14:7.2:7.2.1–7.2.18.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

  2. 2

    Ambion, Inc., Austin, Texas

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: AUG 1997


Ribonucleases can specifically recognize and cleave RNA at the site of sequence mismatches in RNA-DNA or RNA-RNA hybrids. The cleavage products are then characterized by gel electrophoresis. In this unit, a procedure is presented for RNase cleavage of 32P-labeled riboprobes (transcribed from a cloned copy of the normal sequence) that have been annealed to amplified sequences of a candidate gene or cDNA obtained from affected individuals. A Support Protocol explains how to prepare riboprobes from a genomic or cDNA template obtained from a nonmutant individual. An alternate protocol describes cleavage of RNARNA hybrids using a nonisotopic RNase cleavage mutation assay. Sequential PCR and in vitro transcription steps generate sufficient quantities of duplex RNA targets so that the cleavage products can be detected on a gel by ethidium bromide staining. The unit also discusses the use of alternative ribonucleases for cleaving singlebase mismatches.