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Int J Radiat Biol. 1995 May;67(5):509-17.

Dependence of fluorodeoxyuridine-mediated radiosensitization on S phase progression.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0582, USA.


Recent evidence casts doubt on the hypotheses that fluoropyrimidine-mediated radiosensitization is related to cytotoxicity or to cell cycle redistribution into the G1/S boundary. We hypothesized that cells that are capable of progressing into S phase in the presence of fluorodeoxyuridine may also be more susceptible to radiation-induced damage. To test this hypothesis, fluorodeoxyuridine (FdUrd)-treated HT29 human colon cancer cells were separated by centrifugal elutriation into four fractions (1-4) containing a range of cells from those at the G1/S boundary (fraction 1) to those which had progressed approximately 11% into S phase (fraction 4). We found that fraction 4 cells showed significantly greater radiosensitization than fraction 1 cells. We also compared the effects of fluorodeoxyuridine on HT29 and SW620 human colon cancer cells. We found that, in contrast with HT29 cells, SW620 cells arrested at the G1/S boundary and were minimally radiosensitized. Finally, we found that an increase in sensitivity was correlated with a decrease in the rate of repair of DNA double-strand and single-strand breaks (assessed by asymmetric field inversion gel electrophoresis and alkaline elution respectively). These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that fluorodeoxyuridine-mediated radiosensitization depends on S phase progression and a decreased ability to repair radiation-induced DNA damage.

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