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Mutat Res. 1995 Jan;326(1):1-15.

Molecular analysis of hypoxanthine phosphoribosyltransferase gene deletions induced by alpha- and X-radiation in human lymphoblastoid cells.

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Department of Medicine, Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106.


Mutations caused by exposure to X-radiation and to radon and its decay products were compared in the hprt gene of a human lymphoblastoid cell line. Thirty-one X-radiation-induced, 29 radon-induced, and 24 spontaneous mutants were recovered from cell cultures under identical conditions except for the exposure to radiation. Seven spontaneous point mutations were recovered and DNA sequenced. These mutations included three C:G-->T:A transitions. These spontaneous point mutations were located in the exon or splice donor regions of five of the nine hprt exons. Four X-radiation-induced and three radon-induced point mutations were also analyzed by DNA sequencing. The frequency of induced mutants at the D0 doses for radon and X-radiation respectively were 5 x 10(-6) and 4.5 x 10(-6). Deletions were the predominant mutations recovered from both radon- and X-irradiated cells. Eighty-one percent of the mutants from X-radiation-treated cultures, 86% of the radon-treated cultures, and 63% of the spontaneous mutants involved deletions. Deletions involving exon and intron DNA, as well as intron DNA alone, were found to inactivate the hprt gene and result in a selectable HPRT- phenotype. Among the deletion mutants, however, only 21% of the spontaneous mutants versus 55% of both the X-radiation- and radon-induced mutants exhibited loss of the entire hprt gene. More X-radiation-induced deletions than radon-induced deletions extended further than 800 bp in the telomeric direction from the hprt gene (six of 17 versus two of 17). The results show that at the human hprt locus of TK-6 cells the predominant kind of mutation indicative of exposure to both high LET alpha-radiation and low LET X-radiation is a large deletion, spanning the entire hemizygous hprt gene and extending into flanking sequences.

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