Cytoplasmic microinjection of immunoglobulin Gs recognizing RNA helices inhibits human cell growth

David A. Zarling, Cornelia J. Calhoun, Burt G. Feuerstein, Elissa P. Sena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


We report here that nucleolar and cytoplasmic RNA in mammalian cells is recognized specifically by both experimentally induced monoclonal IgG unique for left-handed Z-RNA and by autoimmune mouse monoclonal IgG specific for ribosomal RNA. Nucleolar Z-RNA synthesis, like nucleolar ribosomal RNA synthesis, is inhibited by actinomycin D treatment and dimethylsulfoxide-induced differentiation. Immune anti-Z-RNA IgGs microinjected into living nuclei bind nucleolar RNA, and these complexes appear to be removed from the nucleus within minutes. Cytoplasmically microinjected monoclonal or polyclonal anti-Z-RNA IgGs specifically bind cytoplasmic RNA and inhibit cell multiplication. Microinjection of antibodies directed against double-stranded A-form RNA also inhibits cell growth, indicating physiological roles for both these double-stranded RNAs. Elevated ionic conditions, which in energy-minimized models can cause the walls of the groove in Z-RNA (but not Z-DNA) to approach each other and close, also prevent antibody binding to specific synthetic or cellular Z-RNA determinants. Our antibodies binding unique Z-RNA structures probably recognize antigens determined by the exposed 2′-OH ribose sugarphosphate groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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