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Radiat Res. 1999 Nov;152(5):451-61.

A novel human stress response-related gene with a potential role in induced radioresistance.

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Radiation Science Group, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 OQB, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.


We have isolated a novel gene, DIR1, from L132 cells that is transiently repressed after exposure to low radiation doses and has a potential role in induced radioresistance. Molecular and cellular characterization of this gene reveals that it is unique but has similarities to a family of heat-shock-related proteins known as immunophilins. These have been implicated in various cellular functions including general stress responses and control of the cell cycle. Antisense strategies have demonstrated that the DIR1 gene also appears to have some involvement in the control of the cell cycle. Furthermore, there appears be a potential role for this gene product in the phenomenon of induced radioresistance through a mechanism that increases the rate of DNA repair in cells exposed to X rays and subsequently increases the cells' resistance to radiation. This is the first description of an immunophilin-like gene that has a possible role in adaptive/inducible responses to X rays in mammalian cells.

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