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Chromosoma. 1988 Nov;97(3):185-92.

Immunofluorescent staining of mammalian nuclei and chromosomes with a monoclonal antibody to triplex DNA.

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Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.


Triplex DNA is an unusual conformation of DNA formed when two pyrimidine nucleotide strands share a common purine strand. A monoclonal antibody, demonstrated by numerous criteria to be specific for triplex DNA, was used to investigate the presence and distribution of this unique DNA configuration in nuclei and chromosomes of mouse LM cells and human lymphocytes. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that constitutive heterochromatin in acetic-methanol fixed mouse nuclei was usually, but not always immunofluorescent, suggesting possible cell cycle related variations in the amount of triplex DNA or its accessibility in this condensed chromatin. In fixed mouse and human chromosomes, there was a positive correlation between immunofluorescent staining patterns, Hoechst 33258 banding, and G- and/or C-banding patterns. Unfixed, isolated mouse chromosomes also reacted positively with the antibody, particularly when they were gently decondensed by exposure to low ionic conditions at neutral pH. This result indicates that fixation is not mandatory for antibody staining, suggesting that some mammalian chromosomal DNA may be naturally organized in a triplex configuration. However, there is a possibility that fixation may facilitate the formation of additional triplex DNA complexes in potential sequences or expose previously inaccessible triplex DNA. The precise correspondence between the immunofluorescent patterns produced by anti-triplex DNA antibodies and G- and C-bands known to represent regions of chromatin condensation, suggests a potential role of triplex DNA in chromosome structure and regional chromatin condensation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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