Antibodies specific for left-handed Z-DNA

E. M. Lafer, A. Moller, A. Nordheim, B. D. Stollar, A. Rich

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186 Scopus citations


We prepared a brominated poly(dG-dC)-poly(dG-dC) which forms a stable Z-DNA helix under physiological salt conditions. Rabbits and mice were immunized with brominated and unbrominated poly(dG-dC)-poly(dG-dC) complexed with methylated bovine serum albumin. Antibodies specific for Z-DNA were produced. These antibodies were found not only in the sera of animals immunized with the low-salt stabilized Z-DNA [Br-poly(dG-dC)-poly(dG-dC)] but also in sera from animals immunized with the unbrominated B-DNA form of the polymer. From this it is inferred that the unbrominated poly(dG-dC)-poly(dG-dC) was partially converted to Z-DNA by its combination with the basic protein methylated bovine serum albumin. In addition to specific anti-Z-DNA antibody populations, two other interesting types of antibody populations were found. One of these reacted with both the Z and B forms of poly(dG-dC)-poly(dG-dC). This antibody may be converting the polymer from the B-DNA to the Z-DNA form. The other type of antibody was specific for a B form of poly(dG-dC)-poly(dG-dC) and did not react at all with the Z form. The antibodies raised to Z-DNA were shown to be highly specific for Z-DNA and did not react with B-DNA, RNA, DNA-RNA hybrids, or a number of other polynucleotides. This specificity for Z-DNA wil make possible their use as reagents for determining the presence of Z-DNA in biological systems. Sera of autoimmune lupus mice were also shown to have a considerable amount of naturally occurring anti- Z-DNA antibody activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3546-3550
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

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