Editor's Choice Article for May 2015

Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis Editor's Choice - May 2015

The Editor's Choice for May is "Human Erythrocyte PIG-A Assay: An Easily Monitored Index of Gene Mutation Requiring Low Volume Blood Samples” by Stephen D. Dertinger, Svetlana L. Avlasevich, Jeffrey C. Bemis, Yuhchyau Chen, and James T. MacGregor.

The PIG-A gene is necessary for the synthesis of glycosyl-phosphatidylinisotol (GPI) anchor proteins.  There is considerable interest in using the PIG-A (phosphatidylinositol glycan, Class A) gene as a reporter of in vivo mutation, because mutations in the PIG-A gene can be quantified simply and rapidly as the absence of fluorescent cell surface markers by flow cytometry.  In their Editor’s Choice article, Dertinger et al. extended their proof-of-concept work with laboratory rodent models and applied immunomagnetic separation in conjunction with flow cytometry to rapidly analyze human blood reticulocytes and erythrocytes. For this study, they processed and analyzed three independent blood samples from each of 52 healthy, non-smoking adults. This work produced a number of interesting and important observations. The investigators noted that while variability within individual subjects over time was relatively small, there was high variability among subjects. A portion of this variability appears to be explained by aging, since the frequency of PIG-A mutant reticulocytes and erythrocytes was observed to increase with donor age. This Editor’s Choice article provides a foundation for future studies aimed at investigating the utility of the PIG-A gene mutation assay in human biomonitoring, and elucidating the factors that contribute to the accumulation of mutations with age.  Environ. Mol. Mutagen. 56:366-377, 2015.  © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Disclaimer: Any products or services developed by Litron Laboratories for human PIG-A assessment are for Research Use Only (RUO) and are not for prognostic or diagnostic use. These methods have not been approved, cleared, validated, or reviewed by regulatory agencies and are not intended for making or supporting individual patient management decisions.

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