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Mutat Res. 2009 Jun 18;666(1-2):68-73. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2009.04.006. Epub 2009 Apr 23.

Up-regulation of ROS by mitochondria-dependent bystander signaling contributes to genotoxicity of bystander effects.

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Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031, People's Republic of China.


Genomic instability can be observed in bystander cells. However, the underlying mechanism(s) is still relatively unclear. In a previous study, we found that irradiated cells released mitochondria-dependent intracellular factor(s) which could lead to bystander gamma-H2AX induction. In this paper, we used normal (rho(+)) and mtDNA-depleted (rho(0)) human-hamster hybrid cells to investigate mitochondrial effects on the genotoxicity in bystander effect through medium transfer experiments. Through the detection of DNA double-strand breaks with gamma-H2AX, we found that the fraction of gamma-H2AX positive cells changed with time when irradiation conditioned cell medium (ICCM) were harvested. ICCM harvested from irradiated rho(+) cells at 10 min post-irradiation (rho(+) ICCM(10 min)) caused larger increases of bystander gamma-H2AX induction comparing to rho(0) ICCM(10 min), which only caused a slight increase of bystander gamma-H2AX induction. The rho(+) ICCM(10 min) could also result in the up-regulation of ROS production (increased by 35% at 10 min), while there was no significant increase in cells treated with rho(0) ICCM(10 min). We treated cells with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), the scavenger of ROS, and quenched gamma-H2AX induction by rho(+) ICCM. Furthermore, after the medium had been transferred and the cells were continuously cultured for 7 days, we found significantly increased CD59(-) gene loci mutation (increased by 45.9%) and delayed cell death in the progeny of rho(+) ICCM-treated bystander cells. In conclusion, the work presented here suggested that up-regulation of the mitochondria-dependent ROS might be very important in mediating genotoxicity of bystander effects.

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