Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Res. 2010 Nov 1;70(21):8498-506. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1181. Epub 2010 Sep 22.

Evidence of an adaptive response targeting DNA nonhomologous end joining and its transmission to bystander cells.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Medical Radiation Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen Medical School, Essen, Germany.


Adaptive response (AR) is a term describing resistance to ionizing radiation-induced killing or formation of aberrant chromosomes that is mediated by pre-exposure to low ionizing radiation doses. The mechanism of AR remains elusive. Because cell killing and chromosome aberration formation derive from erroneous processing of DNA double-strand breaks (DSB), AR may reflect a modulation of DSB processing by nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) or homologous recombination repair. Here, we use plasmid end-joining assays to quantify modulations induced by low ionizing radiation doses to NHEJ, the dominant pathway of DSB repair in higher eukaryotes, and investigate propagation of this response through medium transfer to nonirradiated bystander cells. Mouse embryo fibroblasts were conditioned with 10 to 1000 mGy and NHEJ quantified at different times thereafter by challenging with reporter plasmids containing a DSB. We show robust increases in NHEJ efficiency in mouse embryo fibroblasts exposed to ionizing radiation >100 mGy, irrespective of reporter plasmid used. Human tumor cells also show AR of similar magnitude that is compromised by caffeine, an inhibitor of DNA damage signaling acting by inhibiting ATM, ATR, and DNA-PKcs. Growth medium from pre-irradiated cells induces a caffeine-sensitive AR in nonirradiated cells, similar in magnitude to that seen in irradiated cells. In bystander cells, γH2AX foci are specifically detected in late S-G(2) phase and are associated with Rad51 foci that signify the function of homologous recombination repair, possibly on DNA replication-mediated DSBs. The results point to enhanced NHEJ as a mechanism of AR and suggest that AR may be transmitted to bystander cells through factors generating replication-mediated DSBs.

©2010 AACR.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk