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Int J Radiat Biol. 1996 Mar;69(3):319-27.

ERCC1/ERCC4 5'-endonuclease activity as a determinant of hypoxic cell radiosensitivity.

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Radiobiology Program, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


In this study, the relationships between cellular oxygen enhancement ratios (OER) and nucleotide excision repair capability were examined using the UV20 mutant cell line (which has a defective ERCC1 gene). Using a clonogenic survival assay, the OER for the killing of wild-type AA8 cells was 3.2 +/- 0.1, whereas that for UV20 cells was only 2.35 +/- 0.05; the decreased OER of UV20 cells was the result of their significantly greater radiosensitivity relative to wild-type cells under hypoxic conditions. In AA8 cells, hypoxia protected against DNA double-strand break (dsb) induction (determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis) by a factor 3.5 +/- 0.3; i.e. to a similar extent that it modulated cell killing. However, this correlation was not apparent in UV20 cells, where hypoxia protected against dsb induction to a similar extent as in wild-type cells (approximately 3.2-fold). Stably transfected UV20 cells over-expressing a full-length ERCC1 cDNA clone displayed a normal OER (3.5 +/- 0.1) in addition to wild-type resistance to UV light. Our data suggest that the hypoxic radiosensitivity of UV20 cells is a direct result of their ERCC1 deficiency and reflects their inability to process some type of DNA damage (not dsbs) that is induced preferentially in hypoxic cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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