Comet assay with nuclear extract incubation

Anal Biochem. 2005 Feb 1;337(1):70-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ab.2004.10.024.


Alkaline comet assay is a simple sensitive method for detecting DNA strand breaks. However, at the time of cell lysis, only a fraction of the entire DNA damage appears as DNA strand breaks, while some DNA strand breaks may have been rejoined and some DNA lesions may still remain unexcised. We showed that nuclear extract (NE) prepared from human cells could excise the DNA adducts induced by UVC, X-ray, and methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). Thus, the comet assay with NE incubation allows a closer estimation of total DNA damage. Among the human urothelial carcinoma cell lines we tested, the NE of NTUB1 cells showed higher activity in excising the DNA adducts induced by UVC, but with a lower activity in excising the DNA adducts induced by MMS than the NE of BFTC905 cells. Moreover, under the same dose of X-ray irradiation, a larger difference in total DNA damage between two cell lines was revealed in comet assay incubated with NE than without NE. Therefore, the comet assay with NE incubation may be useful in the research of cancer risk, drug resistance, and DNA repair proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Fractionation
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Comet Assay / methods*
  • DNA Adducts / analysis
  • DNA Damage
  • Fibroblasts
  • Humans
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • DNA Adducts