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Radiat Res. 2013 Mar;179(3):293-303. doi: 10.1667/RR3095.1. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

The genetic risk in mice from radiation: an estimate of the mutation induction rate per genome.

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  • 1Departments of Genetics, Radiation Effects Research Foundation, 5-2 Hijiyama Park, Minami-ku, Hiroshima 732-0815, Japan.


Restriction Landmark Genome Scanning (RLGS) is a method that uses end-labeled (32)P NotI sites that are mostly associated with coding genes to visualizes thousands of DNA fragments as spots in two-dimensional autoradiograms. This approach allows direct detection of autosomal deletions as spots with half normal intensity. The method was applied to mouse offspring derived from spermatogonia exposed to 4 Gy of X rays. A genome-wide assessment of the mutation induction rate was estimated from the detected deletions. Examinations were made of 1,007 progeny (502 derived from control males and 505 from irradiated males) and 1,190 paternal and 1,240 maternal spots for each mouse. The results showed one deletion mutation in the unirradiated paternal genomes of 502 offspring (0.2%) and 5 deletions in the irradiated paternal genomes of 505 offspring (1%). The difference was marginally significant, with the deletion sizes ranged from 2-13 Mb. If the frequencies are taken at face value, the net increase was 0.8% after an exposure of 4 Gy, or 0.2% per Gy per individual if a linear dose response is assumed. Since the present RLGS analysis examined 1,190 NotI sites, while the mouse genome contains ∼25,000 genes, the genomic probability of any gene undergoing a deletion mutation would be 25× 0.2%, or 5% per Gy. Furthermore, since the present RLGS screened about 0.2% of the total genome, the probability of detecting a deletion anywhere in the total genome would be estimated to be 500 times 0.2% or 100% (i.e., 1 deletion per Gy). These results are discussed with reference to copy number variation in the human genome.

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