A method is provided for detecting nucleic acid sequence aberrations using two immobilization steps. According to the method, a nucleic acid sequence aberration is detected by detecting nucleic acid sequences having both a first nucleic acid sequence type (e.g., from a first chromosome) and a second nucleic acid sequence type (e.g., from a second chromosome), the presence of the first and the second nucleic acid sequence type on the same nucleic acid sequence indicating the presence of a nucleic acid sequence aberration. In the method, immobilization of a first hybridization probe is used to isolate a first set of nucleic acids in the sample which contain the first nucleic acid sequence type. Immobilization of a second hybridization probe is then used to isolate a second set of nucleic acids from within the first set of nucleic acids which contain the second nucleic acid sequence type. The second set of nucleic acids are then detected, their presence indicating the presence of a nucleic acid sequence aberration. Chromosomal DNA in a sample containing cell debris is prepared for hybridization in suspension by treating the mixture with RNase. The treated DNA can also be fixed prior to hybridization.
The United States government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract Number W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.