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J Mol Biol. 1984 Jul 5;176(3):369-415.

Immunoglobulin recognition of synthetic and natural left-handed Z DNA conformations and sequences.


The relative immunogenicities of the poly[d(G-C)] and poly[d(A-C).d(G-T)] families of helices have been determined. The specificities of the resultant immunoglobulins have been characterized for recognition of different synthetic and natural left-handed sequences and conformations. Certain modifications of poly[d(G-C)] in the sugar-phosphate backbone and cytosine C-5 potentiate the right(R)-to-left(L) (B----Z) transition under physiological conditions. The resulting polynucleotides, poly[d(G-SC)], poly[d(G-io5C)], poly[d(G-br5C)] and poly[d(G-m5C)], are also highly immunogenic. In contrast, DNAs incapable of assuming the left-handed conformation under physiological salt concentrations are weakly or non-immunogenic. These include unmodified poly[d(G-C)] as well as members of the poly[d(A-C).d(G-T)] family of sequences bearing pyrimidine C-5 substitutions (methyl, bromo, iodo). These polynucleotides undergo the R----L isomerization under more stringent ionic and thermal conditions. The specificities of purified polyclonal and monoclonal anti-Z DNA immunoglobulins (IgG) were measured by binding to radiolabeled polynucleotides, by electrophoretic analysis of IgG bound to covalent closed circular DNAs, and by immunofluorescent staining of polytene chromosomes. The salt-induced left-handed forms of poly[d(G-C)] and its derivatives (including the cytidine C-5 methyl, bromo, iodo, and N-5 aza substituted polynucleotides) and of the modified poly[d(A-C).d(G-T)] polymers are bound to varying degrees by different antibodies. The patterns of substrate recognition demonstrate the existence of several antigenic domains in left-handed DNAs, including the helix convex surface and the sugar-phosphate backbone. Substitutions in these regions can produce enhancing (required substitutions), neutral, or inhibitory effects on subsequent IgG binding. Additionally, certain modifications of either the convex surface of Z DNA at the C-5 position of cytidine (i.e. a methyl group) or of the backbone (i.e. phosphorothioate substitution) can lead to polymorphic left-handed conformations that are compatible with antibody binding when present individually but not in combination. The recognition patterns exhibited with DNA substrates from the two DNA families indicate that some, but not all, IgGs show specificity for different nucleotide sequences. The anti-Z DNA IgGs were used to probe for specific left-handed Z DNA determinants on plasmid (e.g. pBR322) or viral (e.g. simian virus 40 (SV40] DNAs and on the acid-fixed polytene chromosomes of dipteran larvae.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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