A monoclonal antibody to triplex DNA binds to eucaryotic chromosomes

Nucleic Acids Res. 1987 Feb 11;15(3):1047-61. doi: 10.1093/nar/15.3.1047.


A monoclonal antibody (Jel 318) was produced by immunizing mice with poly[d(TmC)].poly[d(GA)].poly[d(mCT) which forms a stable triplex at neutral pH. Jel 318 did not bind to calf thymus DNA or other non pyrimidine.purine DNAs such as poly[d(TG)].poly[d(CA)]. In addition the antibody did not recognize pyrimidine.purine DNAs containing mA (e.g. poly[d(TC)].poly[d(GmA)]) which cannot form a triplex since the methyl group blocks Hoogsteen base-pairing. The binding of Jel 318 to chromosomes was assessed by immunofluorescent microscopy of mouse myeloma cells which had been fixed in methanol/acetic acid. An antibody specific for duplex DNA (Jel 239) served as a control. The fluorescence due to Jel 318 was much weaker than that of Jel 239 but binding to metaphase chromosomes and interphase nuclei was observed. The staining by Jel 318 was unaffected by addition of E. coli DNA but it was obliterated in the presence of triplex. Since an acid pH favours triplex formation, nuclei were also prepared from mouse melanoma cells by fixation in cold acetone. Again Jel 318 showed weak but consistent staining of the nuclei. Therefore it seems likely that triplexes are an inherent feature of the structure of eucaryotic DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal*
  • Cell Line
  • DNA / immunology*
  • Epitopes / analysis
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Melanoma
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL / immunology
  • Nucleic Acid Denaturation
  • Plasmacytoma
  • Polydeoxyribonucleotides / analysis
  • Polydeoxyribonucleotides / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Epitopes
  • Polydeoxyribonucleotides
  • triplex DNA
  • poly(d(Tm(5)C)).poly(d(GA)).poly(d(m(5)CT))
  • DNA