Journal article

STRetch: detecting and discovering pathogenic short tandem repeat expansions

Harriet Dashnow, Monkol Lek, Belinda Phipson, Andreas Halman, Simon Sadedin, Andrew Lonsdale, Mark Davis, Phillipa Lamont, Joshua Clayton, Nigel Laing, Daniel MacArthur, Alicia Oshlack

Published : 2017


Short tandem repeat (STR) expansions have been identified as the causal DNA mutation in dozens of Mendelian diseases. Historically, pathogenic STR expansions could only be detected by single locus techniques, such as PCR and electrophoresis. The ability to use short read sequencing data to screen for STR expansions has the potential to reduce both the time and cost to reaching diagnosis and enable the discovery of new causal STR loci. Most existing tools detect STR variation within the read length, and so are unable to detect the majority of pathogenic expansions. Those tools that can detect large expansions are limited to a set of known disease loci and as yet no new disease causing STR exp..

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