Often in karyotyping and cell cycle research it is desirable to increase the yield of mitotic cells in a particular phase of the cell cycle. This can be achieved in a variety of ways with the most popular being the use of a cell cycle synchronizing agent such as demecolcine.
Demecolcine is a drug used in chemotherapy. It is closely related to the natural alkaloid colchicine with the replacement of the acetyl group on the amino moiety with methyl.
Demecolcine will arrest cells in metaphase with no remarkable effect on the biochemical events in mitotic cells or in synchronized G1 and S phase cells. White blood cells are often treated with demecolcine to arrest cells in metaphase. During cell division Demecolcine inhibits mitosis at metaphase by inhibiting spindle formation.
Medically Demecolcine has been used to improve the results of cancer radiotherapy by synchronising tumour cells at metaphase, the radiosensitive stage of the cell cycle.
In animal cloning procedures Demecolcine makes an ovum eject its nucleus, creating space for insertion of a new nucleus.
1. ^ Brit med J., 1965, 1, 495 – 496
2. ^ Reprod Nutr Dev. 2006 Mar-Apr;46(2):219-26
Additional Karyotyping Reagents
KaryoMAX® Giemsa stain solution is optimized for consistent G-banding of chromosomes. Gurr buffer tablets are a convenient way to prepare a liter of buffer at pH 6.8 for use with Giemsa stain.