Cytometric detection of chromatin relaxation, an early reporter of DNA damage response
One of the early events of the DNA damage response (DDR), particularly if the damage involves induction of DNA double-strand breaks, is remodeling of chromatin structure characterized by its relaxation (decondensation). The relaxation increases accessibility of the damaged DNA sites to the repair machinery. We present here a simple cytometric approach to detect chromatin relaxation based on the analysis of the proclivity of DNA in situ to undergo denaturation after treatment with acid. DNA denaturation is probed by the metachromatic fluorochrome acridine orange (AO) which differentially stains single-stranded (denatured) DNA by fluorescing red and the double-stranded DNA by emitting green fluorescence. DNA damage was induced in both human leukemic TK6 cells and mitogen-stimulated human peripheral blood lymphocytes by exposure to UV light or by treatment with H(2)O(2). Chromatin relaxation was revealed by diminished susceptibility of DNA to denaturation, likely reflecting decreased DNA torsional stress, seen as soon as 10 min after subjecting cells to UV or H(2)O(2). While cells in all phases of the cell cycle showed a comparable extent of chromatin relaxation upon UV or H(2)O(2) exposure, H2AX was phosphorylated on Ser139 predominantly in S-phase cells. The data are consistent with the notion that chromatin relaxation is global, affects all cells with damaged DNA, and is a prerequisite to the subsequent steps of DDR that can be selective to cells in a particular phase of the cell cycle. The method offers a rapid and simple means of detecting genotoxic insult on cells.
Version: za2963e q8za9 q8zb6 q8zcd q8zdd q8ze9 q8zff q8zg6