Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) is a useful method for detecting chromosomal imbalances in tumor cells. In the April Nature Biotechnology, Wei-Wen Cai and colleagues describe a microarray-based CGH protocol that can reliably identify deletions or amplification in DNA samples from tumors (NatBiotechnol 2002, 20:393-396).

To reduce hybridization background noise they decided to modify the DNA itself, rather than the glass support. Cai et al. used a bifunctional crosslinker with an epoxide group that covalently attaches to DNA, and deposited the modified DNA — in the form of BACs (bacterial artificial chromosomes) — onto unmodified glass slides. Initial tests showed that the BAC arrays were very uniform and could be used for quantitative analysis of heterozygous deletions.

They constructed arrays consisting of almost 1,000 mouse-DNA BACs and examined loss of heterozygosity (LOH) and amplification events in mouse tumors. The BAC technique could detect chromosomal abnormalities at...

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