Precision oncology using a limited number of cells: optimization of whole genome amplification products for sequencing applications.
ABSTRACT: Sequencing analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) enables "liquid biopsy" to guide precision oncology strategies. However, this requires low-template whole genome amplification (WGA) that is prone to errors and biases from uneven amplifications. Currently, quality control (QC) methods for WGA products, as well as the number of CTCs needed for reliable downstream sequencing, remain poorly defined. We sought to define strategies for selecting and generating optimal WGA products from low-template input as it relates to their potential applications in precision oncology strategies.Single pancreatic cancer cells (HPAF-II) were isolated using laser microdissection. WGA was performed using multiple displacement amplification (MDA), multiple annealing and looping based amplification (MALBAC) and PicoPLEX. Quality of amplified DNA products were assessed using a multiplex/RT-qPCR based method that evaluates for 8-cancer related genes and QC-scores were assigned. We utilized this scoring system to assess the impact of de novo modifications to the WGA protocol. WGA products were subjected to Sanger sequencing, array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and next generation sequencing (NGS) to evaluate their performances in respective downstream analyses providing validation of the QC-score.Single-cell WGA products exhibited a significant sample-to-sample variability in amplified DNA quality as assessed by our 8-gene QC assay. Single-cell WGA products that passed the pre-analysis QC had lower amplification bias and improved aCGH/NGS performance metrics when compared to single-cell WGA products that failed the QC. Increasing the number of cellular input resulted in improved QC-scores overall, but a resultant WGA product that consistently passed the QC step required a starting cellular input of at least 20-cells. Our modified-WGA protocol effectively reduced this number, achieving reproducible high-quality WGA products from ?5-cells as a starting template. A starting cellular input of 5 to 10-cells amplified using the modified-WGA achieved aCGH and NGS results that closely matched that of unamplified, batch genomic DNA.The modified-WGA protocol coupled with the 8-gene QC serve as an effective strategy to enhance the quality of low-template WGA reactions. Furthermore, a threshold number of 5-10 cells are likely needed for a reliable WGA reaction and product with high fidelity to the original starting template.
Project description:Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of surgically resected solid tumor samples has become integral to personalized medicine approaches for cancer treatment and monitoring. Liquid biopsies, or the enrichment and characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood, can provide noninvasive detection of evolving tumor mutations to improve cancer patient care. However, the application of solid tumor NGS approaches to circulating tumor samples has been hampered by the low-input DNA available from rare CTCs. Moreover, whole genome amplification (WGA) approaches used to generate sufficient input DNA are often incompatible with blood collection tube preservatives used to facilitate clinical sample batching.To address this, we have developed a novel approach combining tumor cell isolation from preserved blood with Repli-G WGA and Illumina TruSeq Amplicon Cancer Panel-based NGS. We purified cell pools ranging from 10 to 1000 cells from three different cell lines, and quantitatively demonstrate comparable quality of DNA extracted from preserved versus unpreserved samples.Preservation and WGA were compatible with the generation of high-quality libraries. Known point mutations and gene amplification were detected for libraries that had been prepared from amplified DNA from preserved blood.These spiking experiments provide proof of concept of a clinically applicable workflow for real-time monitoring of patient tumor using noninvasive liquid biopsies.
Project description:Whole genome amplification (WGA) is essential for obtaining genome sequences from single bacterial cells because the quantity of template DNA contained in a single cell is very low. Multiple displacement amplification (MDA), using Phi29 DNA polymerase and random primers, is the most widely used method for single-cell WGA. However, single-cell MDA usually results in uneven genome coverage because of amplification bias, background amplification of contaminating DNA, and formation of chimeras by linking of non-contiguous chromosomal regions. Here, we present a novel MDA method, termed droplet MDA, that minimizes amplification bias and amplification of contaminants by using picoliter-sized droplets for compartmentalized WGA reactions. Extracted DNA fragments from a lysed cell in MDA mixture are divided into 105 droplets (67 pL) within minutes via flow through simple microfluidic channels. Compartmentalized genome fragments can be individually amplified in these droplets without the risk of encounter with reagent-borne or environmental contaminants. Following quality assessment of WGA products from single Escherichia coli cells, we showed that droplet MDA minimized unexpected amplification and improved the percentage of genome recovery from 59% to 89%. Our results demonstrate that microfluidic-generated droplets show potential as an efficient tool for effective amplification of low-input DNA for single-cell genomics and greatly reduce the cost and labor investment required for determination of nearly complete genome sequences of uncultured bacteria from environmental samples.
Project description:Whole genome amplification (WGA) is required for single cell genotyping. Effectiveness of currently available WGA technologies in combination with next generation sequencing (NGS) and material preservation is still elusive.In respect to the accuracy of SNP/mutation, indel, and copy number aberrations (CNA) calling, the HiSeq2000 platform outperformed IonProton in all aspects. Furthermore, more accurate SNP/mutation and indel calling was demonstrated using single tumor cells obtained from EDTA-collected blood in respect to CellSave-preserved blood, whereas CNA analysis in our study was not detectably affected by fixation. Although MDA-based WGA yielded the highest DNA amount, DNA quality was not adequate for downstream analysis. PCR-based WGA demonstrates superiority over MDA-PCR combining technique for SNP and indel analysis in single cells. However, SNP calling performance of MDA-PCR WGA improves with increasing amount of input DNA, whereas CNA analysis does not. The performance of PCR-based WGA did not significantly improve with increase of input material. CNA profiles of single cells, amplified with MDA-PCR technique and sequenced on both HiSeq2000 and IonProton platforms, resembled unamplified DNA the most.We analyzed the performance of PCR-based, multiple-displacement amplification (MDA)-based, and MDA-PCR combining WGA techniques (WGA kits Ampli1, REPLI-g, and PicoPlex, respectively) on single and pooled tumor cells obtained from EDTA- and CellSave-preserved blood and archival material. Amplified DNA underwent exome-Seq with the Illumina HiSeq2000 and ThermoFisher IonProton platforms.We demonstrate the feasibility of single cell genotyping of differently preserved material, nevertheless, WGA and NGS approaches have to be chosen carefully depending on the study aims.
Project description:Array-based comparative genomic hybridisation (aCGH) has diverse applications in cancer gene discovery and translational research. Currently, aCGH is performed primarily using high molecular weight DNA samples and its application to formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues remains to be established. To explore how aCGH can be reliably applied to archival FFPE tissues and whether it is possible to apply aCGH to small numbers of cells microdissected from FFPE tissue sections, we have systematically performed aCGH on 15 pairs of matched frozen and FFPE astrocytic tumour tissues using a well-established in-house human 1 Mb BAC/PAC genomic array. By spiking tumour DNA with normal DNA, we demonstrated that at least 70% of tumour DNA was required for reliable aCGH analysis. Using aCGH data from frozen tissue as a reference, it was found that only FFPE astrocytic tumour tissues that supported PCR amplification of >300 bp DNA fragment provided high quality, reproducible aCGH data. The presence of necrosis in a tissue specimen had an adverse effect on the quality of aCGH, while fixation in formalin for up to 96 h of fresh tissue did not appear to affect the quality of the result. As little as 10-20 ng DNA from frozen or FFPE tissues could be readily used for aCGH analysis following whole genome amplification (WGA). Furthermore, as few as 2000 microdissected cells from haematoxylin-stained slides of archival FFPE tissues could be successfully used for aCGH investigations when WGA was used. By careful assessment of DNA integrity and review of histology, to exclude necrosis and select specimens with a high proportion of tumour cells, it is feasible to preselect archival FFPE tissues adequate for aCGH analysis. With the help of microdissection and WGA, it is also possible to apply aCGH to histologically defined lesions, such as carcinoma in situ.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Single-cell whole-genome sequencing provides novel insights into the nature of genetic heterogeneity in normal and diseased cells. However, amplification of formalin-fixed tissues with low cell numbers is still problematic and multiple annealing, and looping-based amplification cycles (MALBAC) is a commonly used whole-genome amplification (WGA) method with low cell numbers. METHODS:We developed a low-input tailing method to evaluate the MALBAC-based WGA from sub-nanogram or less quantities of input DNA. The tailing method uses 2100 BioAnalyzer to evaluate the size distribution of MALBAC products, and comparing the tailing with 10380 bp. RESULTS:Compared with a 22 loci qPCR panel, the tailing method provided a similar WGA evaluation efficiency in 13 samples on one set of study, with lower input, cheaper cost, shorter manual time, and a clear filtering cut off. Later, we demonstrated a strong correlation between tailing size and coverage breadth in another 29 samples on two sets of assays. As a result, the tailing method showed that it could predict whether a sequence breadth achieved 70% or not with 100% accuracy on these three sets of assays. Although further studies are needed, this tailing method is expected to be used as an excellent tool to select high-quality WGA products before library construction. CONCLUSIONS:Our tailing method can provide a new WGA quality test to evaluate the WGA efficiency with 100% accuracy (42/42). Compared with qPCR panel, our tailing method needs lower input, cheaper cost, shorter manual time, a clear filtering cut off, and extendable high throughput as well as the same sensitivity.
Project description:Whole-genome amplification (WGA) techniques are used for non-specific amplification of low-copy number DNA, and especially for single-cell genome and transcriptome amplification. There are a number of WGA methods that have been developed over the years. One example is degenerate oligonucleotide-primed PCR (DOP-PCR), which is a very simple, fast and inexpensive WGA technique. Although DOP-PCR has been regarded as one of the pioneering methods for WGA, it only provides low genome coverage and a high allele dropout rate when compared to more modern techniques. Here we describe an improved DOP-PCR (iDOP-PCR). We have modified the classic DOP-PCR by using a new thermostable DNA polymerase (SD polymerase) with a strong strand-displacement activity and by adjustments in primers design. We compared iDOP-PCR, classic DOP-PCR and the well-established PicoPlex technique for whole genome amplification of both high- and low-copy number human genomic DNA. The amplified DNA libraries were evaluated by analysis of short tandem repeat genotypes and NGS data. In summary, iDOP-PCR provided a better quality of the amplified DNA libraries compared to the other WGA methods tested, especially when low amounts of genomic DNA were used as an input material.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4><h4>Background</h4>Studying DNA methylation profiles in detail should be the first step in epigenetic research. Although sodium bisulfite modification of genomic DNA is the gold standard method for DNA methylation analysis, this method results in the loss of the majority of the DNA material. Whole genome amplification (WGA) of bisulfite-modified DNA is expected to provide a rich source of materials, but its validity has not been thoroughly evaluated. In this study, we evaluated the extent of biased amplification in the WGA of bisulfite-modified DNA and the reproducibility of independent WGA reactions. We performed the multiple displacement amplification-based WGA separately three times. Each experiment included two reactions using 10 or 50 ng of bisulfite-modified DNA as template. DNA methylation levels were compared between WGA products and original bisulfite-modified DNA at about 450,000 CpG sites.<h4>Results</h4>Using a sufficient amount of bisulfite-modified DNA for WGA was critical for downstream application. The considerable deviations from original bisulfite-modified DNA were found in the middle range of DNA methylation levels. Distribution of hyper- and hypomethylation were equal, which suggested that the deviation at each CpG site occurred randomly. Averaging the data from independently amplified WGA products dramatically improved the overall quality.<h4>Conclusions</h4>WGA of bisulfite-modified DNA could be a valuable tool for epigenetic research, but careful experimental design and data interpretation are required.
Project description:Whole genome amplification (WGA) offers new possibilities for genome-wide association studies where limited DNA samples have been collected. This study provides a realistic and high-precision assessment of WGA DNA genotyping performance from 20-year old archived serum samples using the Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 (SNP6.0) platform.Whole-genome amplified (WGA) DNA samples from 45 archived serum replicates and 5 fresh sera paired with non-amplified genomic DNA were genotyped in duplicate. All genotyped samples passed the imposed QC thresholds for quantity and quality. In general, WGA serum DNA samples produced low call rates (45.00 +/- 2.69%), although reproducibility for successfully called markers was favorable (concordance = 95.61 +/- 4.39%). Heterozygote dropouts explained the majority (>85% in technical replicates, 50% in paired genomic/serum samples) of discordant results. Genotyping performance on WGA serum DNA samples was improved by implementation of Corrected Robust Linear Model with Maximum Likelihood Classification (CRLMM) algorithm but at the loss of many samples which failed to pass its quality threshold. Poor genotype clustering was evident in the samples that failed the CRLMM confidence threshold.We conclude that while it is possible to extract genomic DNA and subsequently perform whole-genome amplification from archived serum samples, WGA serum DNA did not perform well and appeared unsuitable for high-resolution genotyping on these arrays.
Project description:Genomic characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may prove useful as a surrogate for conventional tissue biopsies. This is particularly important as studies have shown different mutational profiles between CTCs and ctDNA in some tumor subtypes. However, isolating rare CTCs from whole blood has significant hurdles. Very limited DNA quantities often can't meet NGS requirements without whole genome amplification (WGA). Moreover, white blood cells (WBC) germline contamination may confound CTC somatic mutation analyses. Thus, a good CTC enrichment platform with an efficient WGA and NGS workflow are needed. Here, Vortex label-free CTC enrichment platform was used to capture CTCs. DNA extraction was optimized, WGA evaluated and targeted NGS tested. We used metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) as the clinical target, HCT116 as the corresponding cell line, GenomePlex® and REPLI-g as the WGA methods, GeneRead DNAseq Human CRC Panel as the 38 gene panel. The workflow was further validated on metastatic CRC patient samples, assaying both tumor and CTCs. WBCs from the same patients were included to eliminate germline contaminations. The described workflow performed well on samples with sufficient DNA, but showed bias for rare cells with limited DNA input. REPLI-g provided an unbiased amplification on fresh rare cells, enabling an accurate variant calling using the targeted NGS. Somatic variants were detected in patient CTCs and not found in age matched healthy donors. This demonstrates the feasibility of a simple workflow for clinically relevant monitoring of tumor genetics in real time and over the course of a patient's therapy using CTCs.
Project description:In the study of tumor genetics, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumors are the most readily available tissue samples. While DNA derived from FFPE tissue has been validated for array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) application, the suitability of such fragmented DNA for single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array analysis has not been well examined. Furthermore, whole-genome amplification (WGA) has been used in the study of small precursor lesions to produce sufficient amount of DNA for aCGH analysis. It is unclear whether the same approach can be extended to SNP analysis. In this study, we examined the utility and limitations of genotyping platform performed on whole-genome amplified DNA from FFPE tumor samples for both copy number and SNP analyses. We analyzed the results obtained using DNA derived from matched FFPE and frozen tissue samples on Affymetrix 250K Nsp SNP array. Two widely used WGA methods, Qiagen (isothermal protocol) and Sigma (thermocycling protocol), were used to determine how WGA methods affect the results. We found that the use of DNA derived from FFPE tumors (without or with WGA) for high-resolution SNP array application can produce a significant amount of false positive and false negative findings. While some of these misinterpretations appear to cluster in genomic regions with high or low GC contents, the majority appears to occur randomly. Only large-scale chromosome LOH (>10Mb) can be reliably detected from FFPE tumor DNA samples (without or with WGA) but not smaller LOH or copy number alterations. Our findings here indicate a need for caution in SNP array data interpretation when using FFPE tumor-derived DNA, particularly with WGA. Overall design: Affymetrix SNP arrays were performed according to the manufacturer's directions on DNA extracted from cryopreserved and FFPE mesenchymal tumor samples without or with WGA, as well as genomic snap-frozen non-neoplastic tissue DNA from 5 adult individuals to serve as reference DNA. WGA was performed using the REPLI-g® FFPE kit (Qiagen, Valencia, CA, USA) and GenomePlex® Tissue Whole Genome Amplification WGA5 kit (Sigma, Saint Louis, MO, USA) in parallel in accordance with the manufacturers’ protocols. A two- to eight-hour individualized reaction time was used in the Qiagen platform for each sample. A gradient amount of initial DNA (10ng, 30ng, 60ng, 100ng and 150ng) was tested followed by gel electrophoresis and qualitative multiplex PCR assay to determine the quality of post-WGA products. At least four independent experiments were concurrently performed per template amplification. Four separateWGA reaction products were pooled for each sample for subsequent microarray analysis to minimize the amplification bias and allele dropout. One of the Affymetrix GeneChip® Human Mapping 500K Array Set (Nsp 250K SNP array) was used for genotyping analysis. Four gastrointestinal stromal tumors with known cytogenetic aberrations were included. Two cases were sucessfullly amplified and passed the quality tests. A total of 12 samples were compared between each other, including frozen tissue DNA (as reference), frozen tissue DNA with WGA (two platforms), FFPE tissue DNA, and FFPE tissue DNA with WGA (two platforms) from each case.