Removal of High-Molecular-Weight DNA by Carboxylated Magnetic Beads Enhances the Detection of Mutated K-ras DNA in Urine


Address for correspondence: Ying-Hsiu Su, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Drexel University, 3805 Old Easton Road, Doylestown, PA 18901. Voice: +1-215-489-4949; fax: +1-215-489-4920.


We have previously demonstrated that mutated DNA derived from the circulation can be detected in urine and predominantly exists as DNA fragments <1 kb. To preferentially isolate the trans-renal DNA from urine, we developed a method using carboxylated beads to separate high-MW (1 kb or larger) from low-MW DNA in urine. A primer set for 18s rRNA (generating a PCR product of 872 bp) was designed and optimized for real-time PCR quantification of high-MW DNA templates. To evaluate the method, urine samples from 5 volunteers with no known diseases and 36 patients with various colorectal diseases were collected and tested. It was found that the average removal efficiency of high-MW DNA from total urine DNA using carboxylated beads is 92.72%± 1.42%. Furthermore, compared with using total urine DNA, our method provides a greater ability to detect mutated K-ras in the urine of colorectal cancer patients. The concurrence of K-ras mutations detected in disease tissue and the corresponding urine specimen is significantly higher (P= 0.0015) when the samples were enriched in low-MW DNA.