Short Exposure to the DNA Intercalator DRAQ5 Dislocates the Transcription Machinery and Induces Cell Death

Authors

  • Elodie Richard,

    1. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille 1 University, Bioophotonics Laboratory, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
    2. Ecole Normale Supérieure, Institut de Biologie de l’ENS (IBENS) CNRS UMR 8197, Paris Cedex, France
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Sébastien Causse,

    1. Bioimaging Core Facility of Lille (BICFaL), IFR 147, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille1 University, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
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    • These two authors contributed equally to this work.

  • Corentin Spriet,

    1. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille 1 University, Bioophotonics Laboratory, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
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  • Nicolas Fourré,

    1. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille 1 University, Bioophotonics Laboratory, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
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  • Dave Trinel,

    1. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille 1 University, Bioophotonics Laboratory, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
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  • Xavier Darzacq,

    1. Ecole Normale Supérieure, Institut de Biologie de l’ENS (IBENS) CNRS UMR 8197, Paris Cedex, France
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  • Bernard Vandenbunder,

    1. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille 1 University, Bioophotonics Laboratory, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
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  • Laurent Heliot

    Corresponding author
    1. Interdisciplinary Research Institute, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille 1 University, Bioophotonics Laboratory, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
    2. Bioimaging Core Facility of Lille (BICFaL), IFR 147, USR 3078 CNRS and Lille1 University, Parc de la Haute Borne, Villeneuve d’Ascq Cedex, France
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Corresponding author email: laurent.heliot@iri.univ-lille1.fr (Laurent Heliot)

Abstract

The fluorescent probeDRAQ5 which rapidly permeates cells and binds to DNA is potentially useful for functional studies of molecular dynamics and interactions in living nuclei. Within minutes after the incubation of human osteosarcoma U2OS cells with 5 μm DRAQ5, the distributions of RNA polymerase II and some of its associated regulatory proteins HEXIM and cyclin T1 in the nucleus are severely impaired, and transcription is inhibited. Furthermore, 30 min exposure to DRAQ5 induces death of U2OS cells 24 h later. Incubation with Hoechst 33342 under similar conditions does not induce these effects. These results emphasize the importance of carefully examining the functional consequences of labeling DNA with intercalating fluorescent dyes before use.

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