Research: DNA Extraction Columns Contaminated with Murine Sequences, PLoSone, 18 August 2011

From PLoSOne, 18 August 2011

Otto Erlwein, Mark J. Robinson, Simon Dustan, Jonathan Weber, Steve Kaye, Myra O. McClure

Jefferiss Research Trust Laboratories, Section of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom


Sequences of the novel gammaretrovirus, xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) have been described in human prostate cancer tissue, although the amounts of DNA are low. Furthermore, XMRV sequences and polytropic (p) murine leukemia viruses (MLVs) have been reported in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In assessing the prevalence of XMRV in prostate cancer tissue samples we discovered that eluates from naïve DNA purification columns, when subjected to PCR with primers designed to detect genomic mouse DNA contamination, occasionally gave rise to amplification products. Further PCR analysis, using primers to detect XMRV, revealed sequences derived from XMRV and pMLVs from mouse and human DNA and DNA of unspecified origin. Thus, DNA purification columns can present problems when used to detect minute amounts of DNA targets by highly sensitive amplification techniques.

Citation: Erlwein O, Robinson MJ, Dustan S, Weber J, Kaye S, et al. (2011) DNA Extraction Columns Contaminated with Murine Sequences. PLoS ONE 6(8): e23484. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0023484

Editor: K.T. Jeang, National Institute of Health, United States of America

Received: June 30, 2011; Accepted: July 18, 2011; Published: August 18, 2011

Copyright: © 2011 Erlwein 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.

Funding: The authors are grateful for support of this work from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre funding scheme. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.


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