Author(s): Blaisdell JO, Harrison L, Wallace SS
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Abstract Energy from low LET ionising radiation, such as X rays and gamma rays, is deposited in the water surrounding the DNA molecule such that between 2 to 5 radical pairs are generated within a radius of I to 4 nm. As a result, multiple single lesions, including oxidised purine or pyrimidine bases, sites of base loss, and single-strand breaks, can be formed in DNA from the same radiation energy deposition event. The single lesions in these so-called multiply damaged sites or clustered lesions are repaired by base excision repair. Here we show that clustered DNA damages are formed in bacterial cells by ionising radiation and are converted to lethal double-strand breaks during attempted repair. In wild type cells possessing the oxidative DNA glycosylases that recognise and cleave DNA at repairable single damages, double-strand breaks are formed at radiation-induced clusters during post-irradiation incubation and in a dose-dependent fashion. Mutant cells lacking these enzymes do not form double-strand breaks post-irradiation and are substantially more radioresistant than wild type cells. These radioresistant mutant cells can be made radiosensitive by overexpressing one of the oxidative DNA glycosylases. Thus the effect of the oxidative DNA glycosylases in potentiating DNA damage must be considered when estimating radiation risk.
This article was published in Radiat Prot Dosimetry
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy