Rapid analysis of chromosome aberrations in mouse B lymphocytes by PNA-FISH

J Vis Exp. 2014 Aug 19;(90):51806. doi: 10.3791/51806.


Defective DNA repair leads to increased genomic instability, which is the root cause of mutations that lead to tumorigenesis. Analysis of the frequency and type of chromosome aberrations in different cell types allows defects in DNA repair pathways to be elucidated. Understanding mammalian DNA repair biology has been greatly helped by the production of mice with knockouts in specific genes. The goal of this protocol is to quantify genomic instability in mouse B lymphocytes. Labeling of the telomeres using PNA-FISH probes (peptide nucleic acid - fluorescent in situ hybridization) facilitates the rapid analysis of genomic instability in metaphase chromosome spreads. B cells have specific advantages relative to fibroblasts, because they have normal ploidy and a higher mitotic index. Short-term culture of B cells therefore enables precise measurement of genomic instability in a primary cell population which is likely to have fewer secondary genetic mutations than what is typically found in transformed fibroblasts or patient cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / ultrastructure*
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Genomic Instability
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Metaphase / genetics
  • Mice
  • Peptide Nucleic Acids / genetics
  • Telomere / genetics


  • Peptide Nucleic Acids