J Genet Med.  2009 Dec;6(2):146-154.

MLPA Applications in Genetic Testing

  • 1Medical Genetics Clinic and Laboratory, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. Kgh982@amc.seoul.kr
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Multiplex ligation dependent probe amplification (MLPA) is a PCR-based method to detect gene dosage. Since its introduction, MLPA has been used to test a large number of genes for major deletions or duplications. Genetic testing, as a diagnostic tool for genetic disease, has been used primarily to identify point mutations, including base substitutions and small insertions/deletions, using PCR and sequence analysis. However, it is difficult to identify large deletions or duplications using routine PCR- gel based assays, especially in heterozygotes. The MLPA is a more feasible method for identification of gene dosage than another routine PCR-based methods, and better able to detect deleterious deletions or duplications. In addition to detection of gene dosage, MLPA can be applied to identify methylation patterns of target genes, aneuploidy during prenatal diagnoses, and large deletions or duplications that may be associated with various cancers. The MLPA method offers numerous advantages, as it requires only a small amount of template DNA, is applicable to a wide variety of applications, and is high-throughput. On the other hand, this method suffers from disadvantages including the possibility of false positive results affected by template DNA quality, difficulties identifying SNPs located in probe sequences, and analytical complications in quantitative aspects.


MLPA; MS-MLPA; Gene dosage; Genetic test
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