Fluorescence detection of 8-oxoguanine in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA of cultured cells using a recombinant fab and confocal scanning laser microscopy

Rebecca P. Soultanakis, Robert J. Melamede, Ivan A. Bespalov, Susan S. Wallace, Kenneth B. Beckman, Bruce N. Ames, Douglas J. Taatjes, Yvonne M.W. Janssen-Heininger

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66 Scopus citations


The presence of 8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) in DNA is considered a marker of oxidative stress and DNA damage. We describe a multifluorescence technique to detect the localization of 8-oxoG in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA using a mouse recombinant Fab 166. The Fab was generated by repertoire cloning and combinatorial phage display, and specifically recognized 8-oxoG in DNA, as determined by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). In situ detection of 8-oxoG was accomplished using rat lung epithelial (RLE) cells and human B lymphoblastoid (TK6) cells treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) or ionizing radiation, respectively. Using confocal scanning laser microscopy, we observed nuclear and perinuclear immunoreactivity of 8-oxoG in control cultures. The simultaneous use of a nuclear DNA stain, propidium iodide, or the mitochondrial dye, MitoTracker (Molecular Probes, Eugene, OR, USA), confirmed that 8-oxoG immunofluorescence occurred in nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Marked increases in the presence of 8-oxoG in nuclear DNA were apparent after treatment with H2O2 or ionizing radiation. In control experiments, Fab 166 was incubated with 200 μM purified 8-oxodG or with formamidopyrimidine DNA-glycosylase (Fpg) to remove 8-oxoG lesions in DNA. These protocols attenuated both nuclear and mitochondrial staining. We conclude that both nuclear and mitochondrial oxidative DNA damages can be simultaneously detected in situ using immunofluorescence labeling with Fab 166 and confocal microscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-998
Number of pages12
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Ms. Laurie Sabens for assisting in the preparation of the manuscript. We would also like to acknowledge the technical assistance of Ramon Langen. This work was supported by Grant DE-FG02-88ER 60742 from the U.S. Department of Energy (S.S.W.) and ROI-HL60014 (Y.J.-H).


  • 8-oxoG
  • Confocal microscopy
  • DNA damage
  • Free radicals
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Mitochondria
  • Oxidative stress


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