Magnesium ion (Mg2+) plays a fundamental role in chromosome condensation which is important for genetic material segregation. Studies about the effects of Mg2+ on the overall chromosome structure have been reported. Nevertheless, its effects on the distribution of heterochromatin and euchromatin region have yet to be investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of Mg2+ on the banding pattern and ultrastructure of the chromosome. Chromosome analysis was performed using the synchronized HeLa cells. The effect of Mg2+ was evaluated by subjecting the chromosomes to three different solutions, namely XBE5 (containing 5 mM Mg2+) as a control, XBE (0 mM Mg2+), and 1 mM EDTA as cations-chelator. Chromosome banding was carried out using the GTL-banding technique. The ultrastructure of the chromosomes treated with and without Mg2+ was further obtained using SEM. The results showed a condensed chromosome structure with a clear banding pattern when the chromosomes were treated with a buffer containing 5 mM Mg2+. In contrast, chromosomes treated with a buffer containing no Mg2+ and those treated with a cations-chelator showed an expanded and fibrous structure with the lower intensity of the banding pattern. Elongation of the chromosome caused by decondensation resulted in the band splitting. The different ultrastructure of the chromosomes treated with and without Mg2+ was obvious under SEM. The results of this study further emphasized the role of Mg2+ on chromosome structure and gave insights into Mg2+ effects on the banding distribution and ultrastructure of the chromosome.
- chromosome structure