Cellular binding of benzo(a)pyrene to DNA characterized by low temperature fluorescence

Vesna Ivanovic, Nicholas E. Geacintov, I. Bernard Weinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A new approach has been developed to detect ultra low concentrations of benzo(a)pyrene products bound to nucleic acids in vivo. The binding to DNA of hamster embryo cell cultures was characterized by low temperature fluorescence spectroscopy. The method can detect less than one polycyclic hydrocarbon residue per 50,000 nucleotides. The fluorescence spectra indicate that the benzo(a)pyrene derivative bound to DNA has a pyrene-like chromophore and resembles that obtained when DNA is reacted in vitro with the 7,8-diol-9,10-oxide of benzo(a)pyrene. This confirms that metabolism of the 7,8,9,10 ring on benzo(a)pyrene precedes reaction with DNA. The method should be useful for detecting and characterizing the in vivo binding of other fluorescent carcinogens to nucleic acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1172-1179
Number of pages8
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 21 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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