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Title: Measurement of fetal fraction in cell-free DNA from maternal plasma using a panel of insertion/deletion polymorphisms
Authors: Barrett A.N. 
Xiong L. 
Tan T.Z. 
Advani H.V.
Hua R. 
Laureano-Asibal C. 
Soong R. 
Biswas A. 
Nagarajan N. 
Choolani M. 
Keywords: cell free fetal DNA
genomic DNA
unclassified drug
cell free nucleic acid
DNA determination
DNA extraction
genetic polymorphism
indel mutation
maternal plasma
polymerase chain reaction
whole genome sequencing
Y chromosome
Cell-Free Nucleic Acids
Chromosomes, Human, Y
INDEL Mutation
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Citation: Barrett A.N., Xiong L., Tan T.Z., Advani H.V., Hua R., Laureano-Asibal C., Soong R., Biswas A., Nagarajan N., Choolani M. (2017). Measurement of fetal fraction in cell-free DNA from maternal plasma using a panel of insertion/deletion polymorphisms. PLoS ONE 12 (10) : e0186771. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Objective: Cell-free DNA from maternal plasma can be used for non-invasive prenatal testing for aneuploidies and single gene disorders, and also has applications as a biomarker for monitoring high-risk pregnancies, such as those at risk of pre-eclampsia. On average, the fractional cell-free fetal DNA concentration in plasma is approximately 15%, but can vary from less than 4% to greater than 30%. Although quantification of cell-free fetal DNA is straightforward in the case of a male fetus, there is no universal fetal marker; in a female fetus measurement is more challenging. We have developed a panel of multiplexed insertion/deletion polymorphisms that can measure fetal fraction in all pregnancies in a simple, targeted sequencing reaction. Methods: A multiplex panel of primers was designed for 35 indels plus a ZFX/ZFY amplicon. cfDNA was extracted from plasma from 157 pregnant women, and maternal genomic DNA was extracted for 20 of these samples for panel validation. Sixty-one samples from pregnancies with a male fetus were subjected to whole genome sequencing on the Ion Proton sequencing platform, and fetal fraction derived from Y chromosome counts was compared to fetal fraction measured using the indel panel. A total of 157 cell-free DNA samples were sequenced using the indel panel, and informativity was assessed, along with the proportion of fetal DNA. Results: Using gDNA we optimised the indel panel, removing amplicons giving rise to PCR bias. Good correlation was found between fetal fraction using indels and using whole genome sequencing of the Y chromosome (Spearmans r = 0.69). A median of 12 indels were informative per sample. The indel panel was informative in 157/157 cases (mean fetal fraction 14.4% (±0.58%)). Conclusions: Using our targeted next generation sequencing panel we can readily assess the fetal DNA percentage in male and female pregnancies. © 2017 Barrett et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Source Title: PLoS ONE
ISSN: 19326203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186771
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