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Radiat Environ Biophys. 2010 Nov;49(4):693-703. doi: 10.1007/s00411-010-0305-1. Epub 2010 Jun 24.

Effects of radiation quality on interactions between oxidative stress, protein and DNA damage in Deinococcus radiodurans.

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  • 1Center for Radiological Research, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Ionizing radiation damages DNA and also induces oxidative stress, which can affect the function of proteins involved in DNA repair, thereby causing repair of DNA damage to become less efficient. We previously developed a mathematical model of this potentially synergistic relationship and applied it to γ-ray exposure data on the radiation-resistant prokaryote Deinococcus radiodurans. Here, we investigate the effects of radiation quality on these processes by applying the model to data on exposures of D. radiodurans to heavy ions with linear energy transfer (LET) of 18.5-11,300 keV/μm. The model adequately describes these data using three parameters combinations: radiogenic DNA damage induction, repair protein inactivation and cellular repair capacity. Although statistical uncertainties around best-fit parameter estimates are substantial, the behaviors of model parameters are consistent with current knowledge of LET effects: inactivation cross-sections for both DNA and proteins increase with increasing LET; DNA damage yield per unit of radiation dose also increases with LET; protein damage per unit dose tends to decrease with LET; DNA and especially protein damage yields are reduced when cells are irradiated in the dry state. These results suggest that synergism between oxidative stress and DNA damage may play an important role not only during γ-ray exposure, but during high-LET radiation exposure as well.

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