Drug-Induced Premature Chromosome Condensation (PCC) Protocols: Cytogenetic Approaches in Mitotic Chromosome and Interphase Chromatin

  • Eisuke GotohEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1288)


Chromosome analysis is a fundamental technique which is used in wide areas of cytogenetic study including karyotyping species, hereditary diseases diagnosis, or chromosome biology study. Chromosomes are usually prepared from mitotic cells arrested by colcemid block protocol. However, obtaining mitotic chromosomes is often hampered under several circumstances. As a result, cytogenetic analysis will be sometimes difficult or even impossible in such cases. Premature chromosome condensation (PCC) (see Note 1) is an alternative method that has proved to be a unique and useful way in chromosome analysis. Former, PCC has been achieved following cell fusion method (cell-fusion PCC) mediated either by fusogenic viruses (e.g., Sendai virus) or cell fusion chemicals (e.g., polyethylene glycol), but the cell fusion PCC has several drawbacks. The novel drug-induced PCC using protein phosphatase inhibitors was introduced about 20 years ago. This method is much simpler and easier even than the conventional mitotic chromosome preparation protocol use with colcemid block and furthermore obtained PCC index (equivalent to mitotic index for metaphase chromosome) is usually much higher than colcemid block method. Moreover, this method allows the interphase chromatin to be condensed to visualize like mitotic chromosomes. Therefore drug-induced PCC has opened the way for chromosome analysis not only in metaphase chromosomes but also in interphase chromatin. The drug-induced PCC has thus proven the usefulness in cytogenetics and other cell biology fields. For this second edition version, updated modifications/changes are supplemented in Subheadings 2, 3, and 4, and a new section describing the application of PCC in chromosome science fields is added with citation of updated references.

Key words

Cytogenetic study Premature chromosome condensation (PCC) Prematurely condensed chromosomes (PCCs) Protein phosphatase inhibitors Calyculin A Okadaic acid Mitotic index PCC index 



I wish to express my thanks to Prof. Srikumar Chellappan for recommending me to contribute again to this new edition of chapter.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of RadiologyJikei University School of MedicineTokyoJapan

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