Human MLPA Probe Design (H-MAPD): a probe design tool for both electrophoresis-based and bead-coupled human multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification assays

Jizu Zhi; Hatchwell, Eli
January 2008
BMC Genomics;2008, Vol. 9, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Background: Multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) is an efficient and reliable technique for gene dosage analysis. Currently MLPA can be conducted on two platforms: traditional electrophoresis-based, and FlexMAP bead-coupled. Since its introduction in 2002, MLPA has been rapidly adopted in both clinical and research situations. However, MLPA probe design is a time consuming process requiring many steps that address multiple criteria. There exist only one or two commercial software packages for traditional electrophoresis-based MLPA probe design. To our knowledge, no software is yet available that performs bead-coupled MLPA probe design. Results: We have developed H-MAPD, a web-based tool that automates the generation and selection of probes for human genomic MLPA. The software performs physical-chemical property tests using UNAFold software, and uniqueness tests using the UCSC genome browser. H-MAPD supports both traditional electrophoresis-based assays, as well as FlexMAP bead-coupled MLPA. Conclusion: H-MAPD greatly reduces the efforts for human genomic MLPA probe design. The software is written in Perl-CGI, hosted on a Linux server, and is freely available to non-commercial users.


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