PETER EUGENE BARKER, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Double minutes (dm) are small chromatin particles of 0.3 microns diameter found only in the metaphase cells of human and murine tumors. Dm are unique cytogenetic structures since their numbers per cell show wide variation. At cell division, dm are retained despite the lack of centromeres. In squash preparations, dm show clustering often in association with chromosomes. Human carcinoma cell line SW613-S18 was found to have large numbers of dm and biological characteristics favorable for mitotic synchronization and chromosome isolation experiments. S18 cells were synchronized to mitosis with metabolic and mitotic blocking compounds. Mitotic cells were lysed to release chromosomes and dm from the mitotic spindle and the resulting suspensions were fractionated to enrich for dm. The DNA in enriched fractions was characterized. The reassociation kinetics of dm-DNA driven with placental human DNA was similar to the reassociation curve of labeled placental DNA under similar conditions. In situ hybridization of dm-DNA to tumor and normal metaphase cells showed grain localization over the entire karyotype. Dm-DNA was shown by pulse chase DNA replication experiments to replicate during early and mid S-phase of the cell cycle, but not in late S-phase. In addition, BrdUrd incorporation studies showed that dm-DNA replicates only once during the S-phase. Premature chromosome condensation studies suggest the basis of numerical heterogeneity of dm is nondisjunction, not anomalous or unscheduled DNA replication. These data and previous cytochemical banding studies of dm in SW613-S18 indicate that dm-DNA is chromosomal in origin. No evidence of gene amplification was found in the DNA reassociation data. It is likely that dm-DNA represents the pale-staining G-band regions of the human karyotype in this cell line.

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Recommended Citation

BARKER, PETER EUGENE, "CHROMOSOMAL ORIGIN OF DM-DNA" (1981). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8118359.