Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 2009 Sep 18;392(2):283-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2009.07.012. Epub 2009 Jul 14.

Tests of the single-hit DNA damage model.

Author information

Raymond and Beverly Sackler Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and Informatics, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10065, USA.


The algebra of target theory for damage by radiation was laid out by Atwood and Norman in 1949. Their equations provide a widely embraced framework for distinguishing single-hit and multi-hit mechanisms of damage. The present work asks whether in vitro damage to DNA duplexes by different agents affects amplification by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in a single-hit manner. Real-time monitoring of fluorescent PCR product (qPCR) was used to measure the fraction of DNA (S) surviving doses (D) of three damaging agents: gamma irradiation, DNase I, and UV radiation. The log fraction surviving was compared to the best-fit straight line predicted for a random single-hit model (lnS=kD). Human DNA targets for analysis were segments of multiple (nested) DNA lengths from the nuclear and the mitochondrial genomes within 10% of 150, 250, 350, 450, 650, 1000 and 2000 bases. For gamma irradiation, the results were consistent with a single-hit model for all segment sizes. In the case of DNase I, the shortest segment (150 bp), for both genomic and mitochondrial DNA, experienced more damage at low concentrations of DNase than the random single-hit model predicted. Conversely, in the case of UV, all segments of the nuclear target gene were less damaged at low doses and more damaged at high doses than predicted by the one hit model. These deviations from the predictions of a random single-hit model were interpreted as evidence for concerted activity in the case of DNase and of a multi-hit, sequence-dependent mechanism in the case of UV, perhaps due to the accumulation of lesions that slowed but did not entirely block Taq polymerase elongation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center