Journal Article

DNA damage-related RNA expression to assess individual sensitivity to ionizing radiation

Karine Bishay, Kathy Ory, Marie-Françoise Olivier, Jérôme Lebeau, Céline Levalois and Sylvie Chevillard

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 22, issue 8, pages 1179-1183
Published in print August 2001 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online August 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI:
DNA damage-related RNA expression to assess individual sensitivity to ionizing radiation

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  • Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics


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Predictive markers of intrinsic radiosensitivity in healthy individuals are needed in monitoring their occupational or environmental radiation exposure and may predict a patient's response to radiotherapy. Ionizing radiation can induce a large spectrum of DNA lesions, but under optimal DNA repair conditions, the principal residual lesions of importance are misrepaired double-strand breaks. The micronucleus (MN) assay represents a useful test in measuring radiosensitivity since it reflects non-repaired DNA breaks at the time of cell division. Spontaneous and radiation-induced MN vary greatly between individuals, and little is known about the molecular mechanisms of this variability. DNA repair and apoptosis processes are involved in the cellular response to radiation-induced DNA damage, and variation in gene expression related to these cellular pathways could be linked to individual radiosensitivity. In this study we analysed by real-time quantitative RT–PCR the basal expression of 12 genes involved both in DNA repair and apoptosis in a series of blood samples obtained from 32 healthy male donors. Relationships between basal RNA expressions and MN frequency and distribution per bi-nucleated cell were studied after ex vivo irradiation of total blood samples. Our results indicate that the variability of mRNA gene expression among the 32 subjects appears to be of the same magnitude or higher than that found for spontaneous or radiation-induced MN frequency and that RAD51 gene expression is negatively correlated with radiation-induced MN frequency.

Keywords: BN, bi-nucleated cells; DSB, double-strand breaks; MN, micronucleus.

Journal Article.  4577 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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