Induction of homologous recombination in the hprt gene of V79 Chinese hamster cells in response to low- and high-LET irradiation

G Olsson, S Czene, D Jenssen, M Harms-Ringdahl
Cytogenetic and Genome Research 2004, 104 (1): 227-31
Dense ionization tracks from high linear energy transfer (LET) radiations form multiple damaged sites (MDS), which involve several types of DNA lesions in close vicinity. The primary DNA damage triggers sensor proteins that activate repair processes, cell cycle control or eventually apoptosis in subsequent cellular responses. The question how homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) interact in the repair of radiation-induced DNA damage of MDS type has been addressed in different model systems but several questions remain to be answered. We have therefore challenged cells with treatments of ionizing radiation of different qualities to investigate whether primary DNA damages of different complexity are reflected in the processes of repair by HR as well as cell survival. We used the V79 derived SPD8 cell line to determine the induction of HR in the hprt exon 7 and clonogenic assay for survival in response to radiation. SPD8 cells were irradiated with gamma-rays (137Cs 0.5 keV/microm), boron ions (40 and 80 keV/microm) and nitrogen ions (140 keV/microm), with doses up to 5 Gy. Analysis of clonogenic survival showed that B-ions (80 keV/microm) and N-ions were more toxic than gamma-rays, 4.1 and 5.0 times respectively, while B-ions at 40 keV/microm were 2.0 times as toxic as gamma-rays. Homologous recombination in the cells exposed to B-ions (80 keV/microm) increased 2.9 times, a significant response as compared to cells exposed to gamma-rays, while for B-ions (40 keV/microm) and N-ions a nonsignificant increase in HR of 1.2 and 1.4, respectively, was observed. We hypothesize that the high-LET generated formation of MDS is responsible for the enhanced cytotoxicity as well as for the mobilization of the HR machinery.

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