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Exp Gerontol. 1999 Aug;34(5):645-58.

Effect of age on DNA binding of the ku protein in irradiated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, AMB-PRO-TOSS, ENEA CR Cassaccia, Rome, Italy. frasca@casaccia.enea.it


DNA binding of the ku protein was investigated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 24 subjects of different ages (20-89 years old) displaying age-related changes in DNA repair, mitotic responsiveness, and cytokine production. Ku is an heterodimeric protein composed of two subunits of 70 and 80 kDa, which is involved in the earliest steps of DNA damage recognition. DNA binding of ku 70/80 was found unchanged in normal PBMC from aging subjects but progressively declined in x-ray-irradiated PBMC from young to adult, and elderly subjects. This finding was concomitant with the age-related fall of DNA repair in the whole population.

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