The effect of anti-Z-DNA antibodies on the B-DNA-Z-DNA equilibrium

E. M. Lafer, Rui J Sousa, R. Ali, A. Rich, B. D. Stollar

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34 Scopus citations


Four different preparations of rabbit and goat anti-Z-DNA antibiodies were examined to determine the effects of antibody binding on the B-DNA-Z-DNA equilibrium. One of the four antibodies, a goat IgG, caused a marked lowering in the ionic strength required for the B-DNA to Z-DNA transition in poly(dG-dC)·poly(dG-dC), shifting the midpoint from 2.25 to 2.0 M NaCl. This IgG had a more prominent high affinity antibody population than did the other goat IgG, which caused little change in the midpoint of this transition. The presence of anti-Z-DNA antibodies also reduced the degree of negative supercoiling required for the formation of Z-DNA in (dG-dC)(n) sequences inserted into closed circular plasmid DNA. The goat IgG with the more marked effect on the salt-induced transition also had a greater effect in favoring Z-DNA formation in negatively supercoiled plasmids. A shift toward Z-DNA formation was observed in circular dichroism measurements upon antibody binding to poly(dG-dC)·poly(dG-dC) in very low ionic strength solution as well. We propose that the stabilization of Z-DNA by antibody binding in poly(dG-dC)·poly(dG-dC) occurs cooperatively, several antibody molecules binding to a single polymer molecule and stabilizing the entire molecule in Z-DNA through their combined binding energies. The stabilization of Z-DNA by antibody binding in a supercoiled plasmid can be significant, and failure to consider this effect and to choose appropriate conditions for measurement can lead to errors in estimating when Z-DNA will form in response to negative supercoiling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6438-6443
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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