Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Dec;1783(12):2398-414. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2008.07.010. Epub 2008 Jul 25.

Chromatin structure influences the sensitivity of DNA to gamma-radiation.

Author information

Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Kralovopolska 135, 61265 Brno, Czech Republic.


For the first time, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) were directly visualized in functionally and structurally different chromatin domains of human cells. The results show that genetically inactive condensed chromatin is much less susceptible to DSB induction by gamma-rays than expressed, decondensed domains. Higher sensitivity of open chromatin for DNA damage was accompanied by more efficient DSB repair. These findings follow from comparing DSB induction and repair in two 11 Mbp-long chromatin regions, one with clusters of highly expressed genes and the other, gene-poor, containing mainly genes having only low transcriptional activity. The same conclusions result from experiments with whole chromosome territories, differing in gene density and consequently in chromatin condensation. It follows from our further results that this lower sensitivity of DNA to the damage by ionizing radiation in heterochromatin is not caused by the simple chromatin condensation but very probably by the presence of a higher amount of proteins compared to genetically active and decondensed chromatin. In addition, our results show that some agents potentially used for cell killing in cancer therapy (TSA, hypotonic and hypertonic) influence cell survival of irradiated cells via changes in chromatin structure and efficiency of DSB repair in different ways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center