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Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Jan;42(2):860-9. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkt957. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Detection of G-quadruplex DNA in mammalian cells.

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Terry Fox Laboratory, British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver, BC V5Z 1L3, Canada, Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, NIH Biomedical Research Center, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6100, USA, Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada and European Research Institute for the Biology of Ageing, University of Groningen, University Medical Centre Groningen, A. Deusinglaan 1, NL-9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands.


It has been proposed that guanine-rich DNA forms four-stranded structures in vivo called G-quadruplexes or G4 DNA. G4 DNA has been implicated in several biological processes, but tools to study G4 DNA structures in cells are limited. Here we report the development of novel murine monoclonal antibodies specific for different G4 DNA structures. We show that one of these antibodies designated 1H6 exhibits strong nuclear staining in most human and murine cells. Staining intensity increased on treatment of cells with agents that stabilize G4 DNA and, strikingly, cells deficient in FANCJ, a G4 DNA-specific helicase, showed stronger nuclear staining than controls. Our data strongly support the existence of G4 DNA structures in mammalian cells and indicate that the abundance of such structures is increased in the absence of FANCJ. We conclude that monoclonal antibody 1H6 is a valuable tool for further studies on the role of G4 DNA in cell and molecular biology.

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