Non-invasive prenatal detection of achondroplasia in size-fractionated cell-free DNA by MALDI-TOF MS assay



Achondroplasia is the most common form of short-limbed dwarfism in humans and is caused by mutations in the FGFR3 gene. Currently, prenatal diagnosis of this disorder relies on invasive procedures. Recent studies have shown that fetal single gene point mutations could be detected in cell-free DNA (cf-DNA) from maternal plasma by either the matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) assay with single allele base extension reaction (SABER) approach or the size fractionation of cf-DNA in maternal plasma. Here, we combined the two approaches to non-invasively examine the fetal G1138A mutation in maternal plasma.

cf-DNA was extracted from maternal plasma samples obtained from two pregnant women at risk for achondroplasia. The fetal G1138A mutation was determined by the analysis of size-fractionated cf-DNA in maternal plasma using MALDI-TOF MS with SABER approach and homogenous MassEXTEND (hME) assay, respectively.

The fetal G1138A mutation was detectable in the two achondroplasia-affected pregnancies by the analysis of cf-DNA in maternal plasma using MALDI-TOF MS. However, the size-fractionation approach led to a more precise detection of the fetal mutation in both analyses.

This analysis would be suitable for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis of diseases caused by fetal single gene point mutations. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.