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RT-PCR Primer Sets for Human and Mouse Mismatch Repair Genes

Primer sets facilitate study of DNA mismatch repair


Mark Dycaico
Stratagene Cloning Systems


Stratagene has designed RT-PCR primer sets from the cDNA sequences of mismatch repair genes. These genes code for specialized proteins that participate in correcting areas of base mispairing in DNA. We have assembled primer pairs specific for human (hMSH2, hMLH1, hGTBP, hPMS1 and hPMS2) and mouse (mMSH2, mGTBP, mPMS2 and Rep-3) mismatch repair genes. The primer pairs can be used to detect mismatch repair gene transcripts by the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The RT-PCR primer sets for mismatch repair may also be used as positive controls for RT-PCR experiments unrelated to mismatch repair.

Mismatched base pairs in DNA can form in vivo through processes such as replication errors, heteroduplex formation, deamination of 5-methylcytosine and the presence of DNA adducts.1 Cells cope with mismatches by enlisting specialized proteins that can recognize, excise and correct mismatched bases. This process is known as DNA mismatch repair. In addition to correcting single base mispairing, mismatch repair pathways have been suspected to play a role in controlling microsatellite instability in proto-oncogenes2 and in modulating adaptive mutation in nondividing cells.3

The characterization of the E. coli MutHLS mismatch repair system4 led to the identification of an analogous eukaryotic system in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Proteins in this system include a yeast homologue of MutS, called MSH2,5 and two yeast homologues of MutL, called MLH16 and PMS1.7 Discovery of the human mismatch repair homologues soon followed with the identification of the genes for the hMSH2,8 hMLH1,9 hPMS1,10 hPMS211 a
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