Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mutat Res. 2013 Aug 30;756(1-2):56-65. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2013.05.004. Epub 2013 May 16.

Volume increase and spatial shifts of chromosome territories in nuclei of radiation-induced polyploidizing tumour cells.

Author information

Kirchhoff-Institute for Physics, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 227, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


The exposure of tumour cells to high doses of ionizing radiation can induce endopolyploidization as an escape route from cell death. This strategy generally results in mitotic catastrophe during the first few days after irradiation. However, some cells escape mitotic catastrophe, polyploidize and attempt to undergo genome reduction and de-polyploidization in order to create new, viable para-diploid tumour cell sub-clones. In search for the consequences of ionizing radiation induced endopolyploidization, genome and chromosome architecture in nuclei of polyploid tumour cells, and sub-nuclei after division of bi- or multi-nucleated cells were investigated during 7 days following irradiation. Polyploidization was induced in p53-function deficient HeLa cells by exposure to 10Gy of X-irradiation. Chromosome territories #1, #4, #12 and centromeres of chromosomes #6, #10, #X were labelled by FISH and analysed for chromosome numbers, volumes and spatial distribution during 7 days post irradiation. The numbers of interphase chromosome territories or centromeres, respectively, the positions of the most peripherally and centrally located chromosome territories, and the territory volumes were compared to non-irradiated controls over this time course. Nuclei with three copies of several chromosomes (#1, #6, #10, #12, #X) were found in the irradiated as well as non-irradiated specimens. From day 2 to day 5 post irradiation, chromosome territories (#1, #4, #12) shifted towards the nuclear periphery and their volumes increased 16- to 25-fold. Consequently, chromosome territories returned towards the nuclear centre during day 6 and 7 post irradiation. In comparison to non-irradiated cells (∼500μm(3)), the nuclear volume of irradiated cells was increased 8-fold (to ∼4000μm(3)) at day 7 post irradiation. Additionally, smaller cell nuclei with an average volume of about ∼255μm(3) were detected on day 7. The data suggest a radiation-induced generation of large intra-nuclear chromosome territories and their repositioning prior to genome reduction.


Chromosome number; ETC; Endopolyploid tumour cells; FISH; High dose X-irradiation; MNGC; NT; Nuclear architecture; PBS; Quantitative image analysis; SSC; cCT; endopolyploid tumour cell; fluorescence in situ hybridization; most centrally located chromosome territory; most peripherally located chromosome territory; multi-nucleated giant cells; non-irradiated; pCT; phosphate buffered saline; saline sodium citrate buffer

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center