Research Papers:

Simultaneous quantification of DNA damage and mitochondrial copy number by long-run DNA-damage quantification (LORD-Q)

Benjamin Dannenmann, Simon Lehle, Sebastian Lorscheid, Stephan M. Huber, Frank Essmann _ and Klaus Schulze-Osthoff

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:112417-112425. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20112

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Benjamin Dannenmann1, Simon Lehle1, Sebastian Lorscheid1, Stephan M. Huber2, Frank Essmann1,* and Klaus Schulze-Osthoff1,3,*

1Department of Molecular Medicine, Interfaculty Institute for Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

2Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Tübingen, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

3German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), 69120 Heidelberg, Germany

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Frank Essmann, email: [email protected]

Klaus Schulze-Osthoff, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA damage, genotoxicity, mitochondrial DNA, LORD-Q, qPCR

Received: June 19, 2017     Accepted: July 26, 2017     Published: August 10, 2017


DNA damage and changes in the mitochondrial DNA content have been implicated in ageing and cancer development. To prevent genomic instability and tumorigenesis, cells must maintain the integrity of their nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Advances in the research of DNA damage protection and genomic stability, however, also depend on the availability of techniques that can reliably quantify alterations of mitochondrial DNA copy numbers and DNA lesions in an accurate high-throughput manner. Unfortunately, no such method has been established yet. Here, we describe the high-sensitivity long-run real-time PCR technique for DNA-damage quantification (LORD-Q) and its suitability to simultaneously measure DNA damage rates and mitochondrial DNA copy numbers in cultured cells and tissue samples. Using the LORD-Q multiplex assay, we exemplarily show that the mitochondrial DNA content does not directly affect DNA damage susceptibility, but influences the efficacy of certain anticancer drugs. Hence, LORD-Q provides a fast and precise method to assess DNA lesions, DNA repair and mtDNA replication as well as their role in a variety of pathological settings.

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