A study of endonuclease III-sensitive sites in irradiated DNA: detection of alpha-particle-induced oxidative damage

Kevin Prise, C.H.L. Pullar, B.D. Michael

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72 Citations (Scopus)


An important difference between chemical agents that induce oxidative damage in DNA and ionizing radiation is that radiation-induced damage is clustered locally on the DNA, Both modelling and experimental studies have predicted the importance of clustering of lesions induced by ionizing radiation and its dependence on radiation quality. With increasing linear energy transfer, it is predicted that complex lesions will be formed within 1-20 bp regions of the DNA, As well as strand breaks, these sites may contain multiple damaged bases, We have compared the yields of single strand breaks (ssb) and double strand breaks (dsb) along with those produced by treatment of irradiated DNA with the enzyme endonuclease III, which recognizes a number of oxidized pyrimidines in DNA and converts them to strand breaks. Plasmid DNA was irradiated under two different scavenging conditions to test the involvement of OH radicals with either Co-60 gamma-rays or alpha-particles from a Pu-238 source. Under low scavenging conditions (10 mM Tris) gamma-irradiation induced 7.1x10(-7) ssb Gy/bp, which increased 3.7-fold to 2.6 x 10(-6) ssb Gy/bp with endo III treatment. In contrast the yields of dsb increased by 4.2-fold from 1.5 x 10(-8) to 6.3 x 10(-8) dsb Gy/bp, This equates to an additional 2.5% of the endo III-sensitive sites being converted to dsb on enzyme treatment. For alpha-particles this increased to 9%. Given that endo III sensitive sites may only constitute similar to 40% of the base lesions induced in DNA, this suggests that up to 6% of the ssb measured in X- and 22% in alpha-particle-irradiated DNA could have damaged bases associated with them contributing to lesion complexity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-909
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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