About: Comet assay is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 8818 publications have been published within this topic receiving 311177 citations.
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TL;DR: Human lymphocytes were exposed to X-irradiation or treated with H2O2 and the extent of DNA migration was measured using a single-cell microgel electrophoresis technique under alkaline conditions and this technique appears to be sensitive and useful for detecting damage and repair in single cells.
Abstract: Human lymphocytes were either exposed to X-irradiation (25 to 200 rads) or treated with H2O2 (9.1 to 291 microM) at 4 degrees C and the extent of DNA migration was measured using a single-cell microgel electrophoresis technique under alkaline conditions. Both agents induced a significant increase in DNA migration, beginning at the lowest dose evaluated. Migration patterns were relatively homogeneous among cells exposed to X-rays but heterogeneous among cells treated with H2O2. An analysis of repair kinetics following exposure to 200 rads X-rays was conducted with lymphocytes obtained from three individuals. The bulk of the DNA repair occurred within the first 15 min, while all of the repair was essentially complete by 120 min after exposure. However, some cells demonstrated no repair during this incubation period while other cells demonstrated DNA migration patterns indicative of more damage than that induced by the initial irradiation with X-rays. This technique appears to be sensitive and useful for detecting damage and repair in single cells.
TL;DR: The expert panel reached a consensus that the optimal version of the Comet assay for identifying agents with genotoxic activity was the alkaline (pH > 13) versions of the assay developed by Singh et al.
Abstract: Atthe International Workshop on Genotoxicity Test Procedures (IWGTP) held in Washington, DC, March 25-26, 1999, an expert panel met to develop guidelines for the use of the single-cell gel (SCG)/Comet assay in genetic toxicology. The expert panel reached a consensus that the optimal version of the Comet assay for identifying agents with genotoxic activity was the alkaline (pH > 13) version of the assay developed by Singh et al. . The pH > 13 version is capable of detecting DNA single-strand breaks (SSB), alkali-labile sites (ALS), DNA-DNA/DNA-protein cross-linking, and SSB associated with incomplete excision repair sites. Relative to other genotoxicity tests, the advantages of the SCG assay include its demonstrated sensitivity for detecting low levels of DNA damage, the requirement for small numbers of cells per sample, its flexibility, its low costs, its ease of application, and the short time needed to complete a study. The expert panel decided that no single version of the alkaline (pH > 13) Comet assay was clearly superior. However, critical technical steps within the assay were discussed and guidelines developed for preparing slides with agarose gels, lysing cells to liberate DNA, exposing the liberated DNA to alkali to produce single-stranded DNA and to express ALS as SSB, electrophoresing the DNA using pH > 13 alkaline conditions, alkali neutralization, DNA staining, comet visualization, and data collection. Based on the current state of knowledge, the expert panel developed guidelines for conducting in vitro or in vivo Comet assays. The goal of the expert panel was to identify minimal standards for obtaining reproducible and reliable Comet data deemed suitable for regulatory submission. The expert panel used the current Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines for in vitro and in vivo genetic toxicological studies as guides during the development of the corresponding in vitro and in vivo SCG assay guidelines. Guideline topics considered included initial considerations, principles of the test method, description of the test method, procedure, results, data analysis and reporting. Special consideration was given by the expert panel to the potential adverse effect of DNA degradation associated with cytotoxicity on the interpretation of Comet assay results. The expert panel also discussed related SCG methodologies that might be useful in the interpretation of positive Comet data. The related methodologies discussed included: (1) the use of different pH conditions during electrophoreses to discriminate between DNA strand breaks and ALS; (2) the use of repair enzymes or antibodies to detect specific classes of DNA damage; (3) the use of a neutral diffusion assay to identify apoptotic/necrotic cells; and (4) the use of the acellular SCG assay to evaluate the ability of a test substance to interact directly with DNA. The alkaline (pH > 13) Comet assay guidelines developed by the expert panel represent a work in progress. Additional information is needed before the assay can be critically evaluated for its utility in genetic toxicology. The information needed includes comprehensive data on the different sources of variability (e.g., cell to cell, gel to gel, run to run, culture to culture, animal to animal, experiment to experiment) intrinsic to the alkaline (pH > 3) SCG assay, the generation of a large database based on in vitro and in vivo testing using these guidelines, and the results of appropriately designed multilaboratory international validation studies.
TL;DR: The comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis) is a simple method for measuring deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) strand breaks in eukaryotic cells that has applications in testing novel chemicals for genotoxicity, monitoring environmental contamination with genotoxins, human biomonitoring and molecular epidemiology, and fundamental research in DNA damage and repair.
Abstract: The comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis) is a simple method for measuring deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) strand breaks in eukaryotic cells. Cells embedded in agarose on a microscope slide are lysed with detergent and high salt to form nucleoids containing supercoiled loops of DNA linked to the nuclear matrix. Electrophoresis at high pH results in structures resembling comets, observed by fluorescence microscopy; the intensity of the comet tail relative to the head reflects the number of DNA breaks. The likely basis for this is that loops containing a break lose their supercoiling and become free to extend toward the anode. The assay has applications in testing novel chemicals for genotoxicity, monitoring environmental contamination with genotoxins, human biomonitoring and molecular epidemiology, and fundamental research in DNA damage and repair. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay are greatly enhanced if the nucleoids are incubated with bacterial repair endonucleases that recognize specific kinds of damage in the DNA and convert lesions to DNA breaks, increasing the amount of DNA in the comet tail. DNA repair can be monitored by incubating cells after treatment with damaging agent and measuring the damage remaining at intervals. Alternatively, the repair activity in a cell extract can be measured by incubating it with nucleoids containing specific damage.
TL;DR: The principles of strand break detection using both the alkaline and neutral versions of the technique are discussed, and a basic methodology with currently used variations is presented.
Abstract: The comet assay is a sensitive and rapid method for DNA strand break detection in individual cells. Its use has increased significantly in the past few years. This paper is a review of the studies published to date that have made use of the comet assay. The principles of strand break detection using both the alkaline and neutral versions of the technique are discussed, and a basic methodology with currently used variations is presented. Applications in different fields are reviewed and possible future directions of the technique are briefly explored.
TL;DR: Originally developed to measure variation in DNA damage and repair capacity within a population of mammalian cells, applications of the comet assay now range from human and sentinel animal biomonitoring to measurement of DNA damage in specific genomic sequences.
Abstract: We present a procedure for the comet assay, a gel electrophoresis-based method that can be used to measure DNA damage in individual eukaryotic cells. It is versatile, relatively simple to perform and sensitive. Although most investigations make use of its ability to measure DNA single-strand breaks, modifications to the method allow detection of DNA double-strand breaks, cross-links, base damage and apoptotic nuclei. The limit of sensitivity is approximately 50 strand breaks per diploid mammalian cell. DNA damage and its repair in single-cell suspensions prepared from yeast, protozoa, plants, invertebrates and mammals can also be studied using this assay. Originally developed to measure variation in DNA damage and repair capacity within a population of mammalian cells, applications of the comet assay now range from human and sentinel animal biomonitoring (e.g., DNA damage in earthworms crawling through toxic waste sites) to measurement of DNA damage in specific genomic sequences. This protocol can be completed in fewer than 24 h.
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