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Radiat Res. 2002 Jul;158(1):32-42.

Spatial distribution and yield of DNA double-strand breaks induced by 3-7 MeV helium ions in human fibroblasts.

Author information

1
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Sciences Division, Department of Radiation Biology and DNA Repair, Berkeley, California 94720, USA.
2
Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Berkeley, CA

Abstract

Accelerated helium ions with mean energies at the target location of 3-7 MeV were used to simulate alpha-particle radiation from radon daughters. The experimental setup and calibration procedure allowed determination of the helium-ion energy distribution and dose in the nuclei of irradiated cells. Using this system, the induction of DNA double-strand breaks and their spatial distributions along DNA were studied in irradiated human fibroblasts. It was found that the apparent number of double-strand breaks as measured by a standard pulsed-field gel assay (FAR assay) decreased with increasing LET in the range 67-120 keV/microm (corresponding to the energy of 7-3 MeV). On the other hand, the generation of small and intermediate-size DNA fragments (0.1-100 kbp) increased with LET, indicating an increased intratrack long-range clustering of breaks. The fragment size distribution was measured in several size classes down to the smallest class of 0.1-2 kbp. When the clustering was taken into account, the actual number of DNA double-strand breaks (separated by at least 0.1 kbp) could be calculated and was found to be in the range 0.010-0.012 breaks/Mbp Gy(-1). This is two- to threefold higher than the apparent yield obtained by the FAR assay. The measured yield of double-strand breaks as a function of LET is compared with theoretical Monte Carlo calculations that simulate the track structure of energy depositions from helium ions as they interact with the 30-nm chromatin fiber. When the calculation is performed to include fragments larger than 0.1 kbp (to correspond to the experimental measurements), there is good agreement between experiment and theory.

PMID:
12071801
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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