Historically, the analysis of DNA replication in mammalian tissue culture cells has been limited to static time points, and the use of nucleoside analogues to pulse-label replicating DNA. Here we characterize for the first time a novel Chromobody cell line that specifically labels endogenous PCNA. By combining this with high-resolution confocal time-lapse microscopy, and with a simplified analysis workflow, we were able to produce highly detailed, reproducible, quantitative 4D data on endogenous DNA replication. The increased resolution allowed accurate classification and segregation of S phase into early-, mid-, and late-stages based on the unique subcellular localization of endogenous PCNA. Surprisingly, this localization was slightly but significantly different from previous studies, which utilized over-expressed GFP tagged forms of PCNA. Finally, low dose exposure to Hydroxyurea caused the loss of mid- and late-S phase localization patterns of endogenous PCNA, despite cells eventually completing S phase. Taken together, these results indicate that this simplified method can be used to accurately identify and quantify DNA replication under multiple and various experimental conditions. © 2012 Burgess et al.
Burgess, A., Lorca, T., & Castro, A. (2012). Quantitative Live Imaging of Endogenous DNA Replication in Mammalian Cells. PLoS ONE, 7(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0045726