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Affymetrix Microarray Sequences Complete Mitochondrial Genome

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Affymetrix Inc. has announced the launch of the GeneChip® Human Mitochondrial Resequencing Array 2.0, enabling researchers to analyze the entire sequence of the mitochondrial genome in a single 48 hour experiment.

The microarray interrogates all 16,500 bases of the human mitochondrial genome with only three polymerase chain reactions (PCR), providing scientists with the efficient method for detecting variants associated with genetic disease, forensics, population studies or stem cells.

"We get sequence data from the Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mitochondrial Array about ten times faster than we do with conventional methods," said Bert Smeets, Ph.D., associate professor of Genetics at Maastricht University.

"Using the array in our studies of complex mitochondrial disease, we've discovered five known pathogenic mutations and more than 70 previously unknown genetic variations in patients, which allow us to explain the pathology in about 25 percent of the patients."

"The whole-genome approach is helping us to understand this disease at a level of detail never before possible."

"There's an obvious increase in the number of mutations that can be detected with the second generation GeneChip mitochondrial array," said Joseph Califano, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University.

"To date, we've sequenced about 85 head-neck tumors with matching white blood cell DNA from those patients. So far, we've found a pretty impressive somatic mutation rate of close to 50 percent in these tumors."

"The robust Affymetrix GeneChip Human Mitochondrial Resequencing Array 2.0 provides a complete picture of variation in the mitochondrial genome, while significantly reducing the time, labor and cost involved in sample preparation," said Greg Yap, vice president of DNA Products at Affymetrix.

"We anticipate that access to complete sequence information for mitochondria on a single array will lead to new discoveries in a wide range of fields including disease genetics, forensic identification and population genetics."