Mitochondrial gene expression in directly irradiated and nonirradiated bystander cells

M Ahmad Chaudhry, Romaica A Omaruddin
Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals 2011, 26 (5): 657-63
Nontargeted cellular effects by ionizing radiation are well documented. The bystander effect is a nontargeted phenomenon wherein the irradiated cells communicate and induce changes in nonirradiated cells. The nature of the bystander signal and how it impacts unirradiated cells remain to be elucidated. Examination of molecular changes could lead to the identification of molecular pathways underlying the bystander effect. In this study, mitochondrial gene transcriptional changes in bystander cells were monitored to gain insight into the participation of mitochondria in this response. The modulation of mitochondrial gene expression in medium-exchanged bystander cells was determined in human lymphoblast TK6 cells by employing the real-time polymerase chain reaction technology. The examination of the relative expression of mitochondrial genes involved in various metabolic functions indicated that MT-ND1, MT-ND5, and MT-ND6 encoding NADH dehydrogenases were upregulated in directly irradiated cells but repressed in bystander cells. The differences in the expression levels were statistically significant among irradiated and bystander cells. The adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthases MT-ATP6 and MT-ATP8 were upregulated in both irradiated and bystander cells. These results point to the involvement of mitochondrial gene modulation in directly irradiated and bystander cells and provide evidence that mitochondrial gene expression response is part of a complex stress response operating in radiation-treated cells.

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