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Mol Cell Biol. 1991 Feb;11(2):1009-16.

Induction by ionizing radiation of the gadd45 gene in cultured human cells: lack of mediation by protein kinase C.

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Laboratory of Molecular Pharmacology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


The effect of ionizing radiation on the expression of two DNA-damage-inducible genes, designated gadd45 and gadd153, was examined in cultured human cells. These genes have previously been shown to be strongly and coordinately induced by UV radiation and alkylating agents in human and hamster cells. We found that the gadd45 but not the gadd153 gene is strongly induced by X rays in human cells. The level of gadd45 mRNA increased rapidly after X rays at doses as low as 2 Gy. After 20 Gy of X rays, gadd45 induction, as measured by increased amounts of mRNA, was similar to that produced by the most effective dose of the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate. No induction was seen after treatment of either human or hamster cells with 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, a known activator of protein kinase C (PKC). Therefore, gadd45 represents the only known mammalian X-ray-responsive gene whose induction is not mediated by PKC. However, induction was blocked by the protein kinase inhibitor H7, indicating that induction is mediated by some other kinase(s). Sequence analysis of human and hamster cDNA clones demonstrated that this gene has been highly conserved and encodes a novel 165-amino-acid polypeptide which is 96% identical in the two species. This gene was localized to the short arm of human chromosome 1 between p12 and p34. When induction in lymphoblast lines from four normal individuals was compared with that in lines from four patients with ataxia telangiectasia, induction by X rays of gadd45 mRNA was less in the cell lines from this cancer-prone radiosensitive disorder. Our results provide evidence for the existence of an X-ray stress response in human cells which is independent of PKC and which is abnormal in taxia telangiectasia.

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