Determination of the Relative Amount of Nucleic Acids and Proteins in Leukemic and Normal Lymphocytes by Means of Fourier Transform Infrared Microspectroscopy

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Previous Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopic studies on neoplastic and normal cells have shown different band profiles and intensity associated with absorptions of proteins and nucleic acids. In the present study, an interpretation of such differences has been attempted by comparing the spectra of DNA/RNA/protein mixtures with the spectra, particularly, obtained for lymphocytes from B-chronic lymphatic leukemia (B-CLL) patients and normal donors. FT-IR microspectroscopy analysis showed a good agreement between the intensity and the band profile of the spectra of leukemic lymphocytes and those of the binary mixture made up of 75% human serum albumin and 25% DNA. The addition of small amounts of RNA (1-5% ) modified the band shape, making it more similar to the spectrum of normal lymphocytes. An attempt was also made to estimate the relative amounts of DNA and RNA. The results demonstrated an increase in the DNA/RNA ratio value in neoplastic lymphocytes with respect to that reported in literature for normal ones.
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