Drug-induced Premature Chromosome Condensation (PCC) Protocols: Cytogenetic Approaches in Mitotic Chromosome and Interphase Chromatin

Methods Mol Biol. 2009;523:83-92. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-190-1_6.


Chromosome analysis is a fundamental technique for cytogenetic studies. Chromosomes are conventionally prepared from mitotic cells arrested by colcemid block protocol. However, obtaining the mitotic chromosomes is often hampered under several circumstances. As a result, cytogenetic analysis will be sometimes difficult or even impossible in such cases. Premature chromosome condensation (PCC) is an alternative method that has proved to be a unique and useful way in chromosome analysis. Usually, PCC has been achieved following cell fusion mediated either by fusogenic viruses or by polyethylene glycol (cell-fusion PCC), but the cell-fusion PCC has several drawbacks. The novel drug-induced PCC using protein phosphatase inhibitors was introduced about 10 years ago. This method is much simple and easy even than the conventional mitotic chromosome preparation using colcemid block protocol and obtained PCC index (equivalent to mitotic index for metaphase chromosome) is much higher. Furthermore, this method allows the interphase chromatin to be condensed and visualized like mitotic chromosomes, thus opened the way for chromosome analysis not only in metaphase chromosomes but also in interphase chromatin. The drug-induced PCC has therefore proven the usefulness in cytogenetics and other cell biology fields.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects
  • Chromatin / metabolism*
  • Cytogenetics / methods*
  • Humans
  • Interphase / drug effects*
  • Mitosis / drug effects*
  • Oxazoles / pharmacology*


  • Chromatin
  • Oxazoles
  • calyculin A