Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Comet Assay

  • Peter Schmezer
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_1275-2

Synonyms

Definition

The comet assay is a sensitive electrophoresis technique for studying DNA damage and repair of DNA in individual cells. It has become one of the standard methods for testing of genotoxic stress, and it is also frequently utilized in environmental and human biomonitoring, molecular cancer epidemiology, as well as fundamental cancer research.

Characteristics

The assay can be applied to all cell types including human, animal, or plant cells, whether in culture or isolated from organs or tissues. In general, single-cell suspensions are prepared, and cells are subsequently embedded in a thin agarose gel on microscope slides. Consecutive cell lysis with detergent and high salt removes cellular and nuclear membranes and proteins and liberates DNA in the form of a compact, nucleus-like structure which is also called nucleoid. The gel-embedded DNA is then subjected to electrophoresis. DNA...

Keywords

Comet Assay Nucleotide Excision Repair Mutagen Sensitivity Genotoxic Carcinogen Human White Blood Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
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References

  1. Collins AR (2004) The comet assay for DNA damage and repair: principles, application, and limitations. Mol Biotechnol 26:249–261CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Møller P (2006) The alkaline comet assay: towards validation in biomonitoring of DNA damaging exposures. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol 98:336–345CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Schmezer P, Rajaee-Behbahani N, Risch A et al (2001) Rapid screening assay for mutagen sensitivity and DNA repair capacity in human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Mutagenesis 16:25–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Speit G, Hartmann A (2006) The comet assay: a sensitive genotoxicity test for the detection of DNA damage and repair. In: Henderson DS (ed) DNA repair protocols: mammalian systems. Methods in molecular biology. Humana Press, Totowa, pp 275–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Tice RR, Agurell E, Anderson D et al (2000) Single cell gel/comet assay: guidelines for in vitro and in vivo genetic toxicology testing. Environ Mol Mutagen 35:206–221CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

See Also

  1. (2012) Biomarkers. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 408–409. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_6601Google Scholar
  2. (2012) Genotoxic. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1540. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_2393Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division Epigenomics and Cancer Risk FactorsGerman Cancer Research Center (DKFZ)HeidelbergGermany