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Mutat Res. 1983 Nov;111(3):387-404.

Toxicity and mutagenicity of X-rays and [125I]dUrd or [3H]TdR incorporated in the DNA of human lymphoblast cells.


We measured the toxicity and mutagenicity induced in human diploid lymphoblasts by various radiation doses of X-rays and two internal emitters, [125I]iododeoxyuridine ([125I]dUrd) and [3H]thymidine ([3H]TdR), incorporated into cellular DNA. [125I]dUrd was more effective than [3H]TdR at killing cells and producing mutations to 6-thioguanine resistance (6TGR). No ouabain-resistant mutants were induced by any of these agents. Expressing dose as total disintegrations per cell (dpc), the D0 for cell killing for [125I]dUrd was 28 dpc and for [3H]TdR was 385 dpc. The D0 for X-rays was 48 rad at 37 degrees C. The slopes of the mutation curves were approximately 75 x 10(-8) 6TGR mutants per cell per disintegration for [125I]dUrd and 2 x 10(-8) for [3H]TdR. X-Rays induced 8 x 10(-8) 6TGR mutants per cell per rad. Normalizing for survival, [125I]dUrd remained much more mutagenic at low doses (high survival levels) than the other two agents. Treatment of the cells at either 37 degrees C or while frozen at -70 degrees C yielded no difference in cytotoxicity or mutation for [125]dUrd or [3H]TdR, whereas X-rays were 6 times less effective in killing cells at -70 degrees C. Assuming that incorporation was random throughout the genome, the mutagenic efficiencies of the radionuclides could be calculated by dividing the mutation rate by the level of incorporation. If the effective target size of the 6TGR locus is 1000-3000 base pairs, then the mutagenic efficiency of [125I]dUrd is 1.0-3.0 and of [3H]TdR is 0.02-0.06 total genomic mutations per cell per disintegration. 125I disintegrations are known to produce localized DNA double-strand breaks. If these breaks are potentially lethal lesions, they must be repaired, since the mean lethal dose (D0) was 28 dpc. The observations that a single dpc has a high probability of producing a mutation (mutagenic efficiency 1.0-3.0) would suggest, however, that this repair is extremely error-prone. If the breaks need not be repaired to permit survival, then lethal lesions are a subset of or are completely different from mutagenic lesions.

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