М. I. Chopei, K. S. Afanasieva, А. V. Sivolob
The main mechanism of DNA track formation during comet assay of nucleoids, obtained after removal of cell membranes and most of proteins, is the extension to anode of negatively supercoiled DNA loops attached to proteins, remaining in nucleoid after lysis treatment. The composition of these residual protein structures and the nature of their strong interaction with the loop ends remain poorly studied. In this work we investigated the influence of chloroquine intercalation and denaturation of nucleoid proteins on the efficiency of electrophoretic track formation during comet assay. The results obtained suggest that even gentle protein denaturation is sufficient to reduce considerably the effectiveness of the DNA loop migration due to an increase in the loops size. The same effect was observed under local DNA unwinding upon chloroquine intercalation around the sites of the attachment of DNA to proteins. The topological interaction (protein intercalation into the double helix) between DNA loop ends and nucleoid proteins is discussed.
Key words: nucleoid, DNA loop domains, comet assay, chloroquine, protein denaturation.
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