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Radiat Res. 1997 Oct;148(4):299-307.

Radiation-induced genomic instability: delayed mutagenic and cytogenetic effects of X rays and alpha particles.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.

Abstract

The frequency of mutations at the Hprt locus was measured in clonal populations of Chinese hamster ovary cells derived from single cells surviving exposure to 0-12 Gy of X rays or 2 Gy of alpha particles. Approximately 8-9% of 446 clonal populations examined 23 population doublings after irradiation showed high frequencies of late-arising mutations as indicated by mutant fractions 10(2)-10(4)-fold above background. The frequency with which such clones occurred was similar for alpha-particle irradiation and X irradiation, with no apparent dose dependence for X irradiation over the range of 4-12 Gy. The molecular structure of Hprt mutations was determined by analysis by multiplex polymerase chain reaction of all nine exons. Of mutations induced directly after exposure to X rays, 75% involved partial or total gene deletions. Only 19-23% of late-arising (delayed) mutations were associated with deletions, the preponderance of these being partial deletions involving one or two exons. This spectrum was very similar to that for spontaneously arising mutations. To determine whether delayed mutations were non-clonal, the spectrum of exons deleted was examined among 29 mutants with partial deletions derived from a single clonal population. The results indicated that at least 15 of these mutants arose independently. To examine the relationship between the occurrence of delayed mutations and chromosomal instability, 60 Hprt mutant subclones isolated from a clonal population showing a high frequency of delayed mutations were serially cultivated in vitro. Of these, 14 showed a slow-growth phenotype with a high frequency of polyploid cells (10-38%) and a markedly enhanced frequency of non-clonal chromosomal rearrangements including both chromosome-type and chromatid-type aberrations. These clones also showed a 3- to 30-fold increase in the frequency of ouabain-resistant mutations; no ouabain-resistant mutants were induced directly by X irradiation. These results suggest that among clones showing a high frequency of delayed mutations there may be a subpopulation of cells that are particularly unstable; selection for the slow-growth phenotype has the effect of selecting for this chromosomally unstable subpopulation.

PMID:
9339945
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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