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Gene. 1989 Oct 30;82(2):191-9.

Triplex DNA in plasmids and chromosomes.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


Circular plasmids containing pyrimidine purine tracts can form both inter-and intramolecular triplexes. Addition of poly(dTC) to plasmid pTC45, which contains a (TC)45.(GA)45 insert, results in intermolecular triplex formation. Agarose-gel electrophoresis gives rise to many well-resolved bands, which correspond to 1, 2, 3, 4... plasmid molecules attached to the added pyrimidine strand. In the electron microscope these complexes appear as a rosette of petals. The mobility of these triplex-containing complexes can be retarded by the addition of a triplex-specific monoclonal antibody, Jel318. Intramolecular triplex formation can be demonstrated at pH 5 in pTC45 and also in pT463-I, a plasmid containing a segment of a crab satellite DNA with both (G)n.(C)n and (TCC)n.(GGA)n inserts. However, although the intermolecular triplex remains stable for some time at pH 8, intramolecular triplex formation only occurs at low pH. Triplexes can also be detected by an immunoblotting procedure with Jel318. This unfamiliar structure is readily demonstrated in eukaryotic extracts, but not in cell extracts from Escherichia coli. Triplexes may thus be an inherent feature of eukaryotic chromosome structure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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