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Mutat Res. 1992 Sep;274(3):237-45.

Differential gene expression in wild-type and X-ray-sensitive mutants of Chinese hamster ovary cell lines.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY 14642.


Complementary DNA cloning, differential screening and Northern hybridization techniques were used to study differential gene expression in the wild-type Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) K1 cell line and its two X-ray sensitive mutants, xrs-5 and xrs-6. 11 species of mRNAs were found underexpressed in the two independently isolated mutants. The steady-state levels of those mRNAs are 3-26-fold less in the two mutants, depending on the particular species. 6 of the underexpressed mRNAs have been identified by comparing the sequences of the cloned cDNAs to the known sequences in GenBank. 4 of them code for the structural proteins of ferritin heavy chain, nonmuscle myosin light chain 3nm, ribosomal protein S17 and L7, respectively. The other two have strong homology with mouse B2 or retroviral sequences. The remaining 5 mRNAs did not show significant homology with any of the known sequences and apparently represent newly isolated species. The effect of 137Cs gamma-rays on the expression of the 11 mRNAs has been studied. Radiation inhibited the expression of the B2-like gene in the mutants but not in the wild-type CHO cells. The levels of the other 10 mRNAs were not affected by radiation. The underexpression of this group of genes in both xrs-5 and xrs-6 mutants seems to be related to their radiation-sensitive phenotype, although the specific gene responsible has not been identified. Two models are proposed to explain the mechanism of underexpression. It is suggested that a cellular factor or/and chromosome structural changes are involved.

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