DNA quaternary structure in the radiation sensitivity of human lymphocytes--a proposed role of copper. Academic Article uri icon

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  • On challenging with 2M NaCl, the nuclei of human lymphocytes yield an aggregate of DNA-protein material. The density of the material is less when isolated from irradiated cells than when isolated from unirradiated cells. The density of this material, designated histone-free-DNA (HF-DNA), from irradiated cells returns to that from unirradiated cells if the irradiated cells are allowed time at 37 degrees C in nutrient conditions. Lymphocyte HF-DNA from patients who have exhibited hypersensitivity to radiotherapy exhibit slower repair characteristics than lymphocyte HF-DNA from the average normal subjects. Neutrons are more effective than X-rays in producing density changes. Misonidazole and the ADPRT inhibitor 3-AAB substantially inhibit return to unirradiated densities. The oer for the initial effect is between 2 and 3. These properties of this DNA material from human lymphocytes suggest that alterations in the configuration of such material by the loss and re-establishment of relatively weak cellular bonds are closely related to the well-known changes observed in classical cell survival experiments. Where the proliferation of human lymphocytes has been observed by concanavalin A stimulation, oer, RBE and chemical modification has been of the same order as the measured density changes. Additionally, we have found that the density of HF-DNA is heavily dependent upon Cu content. This has led us to propose that cell killing or malfunction at the nuclear level caused by ionizing radiation is caused by the conversion CuII----CuI and also by specific .OH attack on DNA or proteins at a Cu site.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


  • George, AM
  • Sabovljev, SA
  • Hart, Lawrence
  • Cramp, WA
  • Harris, G
  • Hornsey, S

publication date

  • June 1987