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Radiat Res. 1998 Jan;149(1):52-8.

Recent data obtained by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis suggest two types of double-strand breaks.

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Department of Biometry and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.


The temporal evolution of unrejoined and misrejoined DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) produced by high doses (80-160 Gy) of X rays has been estimated using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) (Löbrich et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 92, 12050-12054, 1995). We attempted to fit these data to three models. An RBM ("Revell binary misrejoining") model, based on the usual repair-misrepair and lethal-potentially lethal models, appears to be inconsistent with the data. The main discrepancies are the following: (1) The RBM model predicts that 90% of the misrejoined DSBs form by the time 75% of the DSBs have disappeared, while the data indicate that only 50% are formed by this time; and (2) the model predicts an increasing fraction of DSBs misrejoined at 160 Gy compared to 80 Gy, while the data support approximately equal fractions misrejoined. These discrepancies are alleviated in the Sax subset (SS) and Revell subset (RS) models. In the SS and RS models, two types (or subsets) of DSBs exist: those that are active in misrejoining and those that are not. In the SS model, active DSBs misrejoin by the breakage-and-reunion mechanism described by Sax; in the RS model, active DSBs either repair, or misrejoin according to the complete exchange misrejoining mechanism described by Revell. Both models are consistent with the data set considered.

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