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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Optical studies of the interaction of 33258 Hoechst with DNA, chromatin, and metaphase chromosomes.

The interaction of the bisbenzimidazole dye 33258 Hoechst with DNA and chromatin is characterized by changes in absorption, fluorescence, and circular dichroism measurements. At low dye/phosphate ratios, dye binding is accompanied by intense fluorescence and circular dichroism and exhibits little sensitivity to ionic strength. At higher dye/phosphate ratios, additional dye binding can be detected by further changes in absorptivity. This secondary binding is suppressed by increasing the ionic strength. A-T rich DNA sequences enhance both dye binding and fluorescence quantum yield, while chromosomal proteins apparently exclude the dye from approximately half of the sites available with DNA. Fluorescence of the free dye is sensitive to pH and, below pH 8, to quenching by iodide ion. Substitution of 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) for thymidine in synthetic polynucleotides, DNA, or unfixed chromatin quenches the fluorescence of bound dye. This suppression of dye fluorescence permits optical detection of BrdU incorporation associated with DNA synthesis in cytological chromosome preparations. Quenching of 33258 Hoechst fluorescence by BrdU can be abolished by appropriate alterations in solvent conditions, thereby revealing changes in dye fluorescence of microscopic specimens specifically due to BrdU incorporation.[1]


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