Different reactivity of Z-DNA antibodies with human chromosomes modified by actinomycin D and 5-bromodeoxyuridine
Antibodies against Z-DNA react with fixed metaphase chromosomes of man and other mammals. Indirect immunofluorescence staining shows that chromosomal segments corresponding to R- and T-bands preferentially fix Z-DNA antibodies. In this work Z-DNA antibodies were used as a probe for DNA conformation in euchromatin of fixed human chromosomes whose condensation or staining were modified by actinomycin D (AMD) and by 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). Treatments with AMD and BrdU were performed to induce a G-banding by modification of chromosomal segments corresponding to R- and T-bands. Long BrdU treatments were used to induce asymmetrical and partially undercondensed chromosomes by substitution of thymidine in one or both DNA strand. Our results show a clear difference of Z-DNA antibodies reactivity after AMD or BrdU treatment. The G-banding obtained after AMD treatment is not reversed by Z-DNA antibodies staining since these antibodies bind very weakly to the undercondensed R-bands. On the other hand, the G-banding obtained by BrdU is completely reversed giving typical R-banding, as on untreated chromosomes. For asymmetrical chromosomes an R-, T-banding pattern is always observed but there is a decrease of the fluorescence intensity proportional to the degree of BrdU incorporation. We conclude that AMD treatment greatly disturbs Z-DNA antibodies binding suggesting a change in DNA conformation, whereas BrdU treatments do not suppress but only weaken the specific binding of Z-DNA antibodies on R- and T-bands. The direct involvement of thymidine substitution in DNA sequences recognized by Z-DNA antibodies is discussed.
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