Author(s): Beiter T, Zimmermann M, Fragasso A, Armeanu S, Lauer UM
So far, the abuse of gene transfer technology in sport, so-called gene doping, is undetectable. However, recent studies in somatic gene therapy indicate that long-term presence of transgenic DNA (tDNA) following various gene transfer protocols can be found in DNA isolated from whole blood using conventional PCR protocols. Application of these protocols for the direct detection of gene doping would require almost complete knowledge about the sequence of the genetic information that has been transferred. Here, we develop and describe the novel single-copy primer-internal intron-spanning PCR (spiPCR) procedure that overcomes this difficulty. Apart from the interesting perspectives that this spiPCR procedure offers in the fight against gene doping, this technology could also be of interest in biodistribution and biosafety studies for gene therapeutic applications.