Cytoplasmic Irradiation Induces Mitochondrial-Dependent 53BP1 Protein Relocalization in Irradiated and Bystander Cells

L. Tartier, S. Gilchrist, S. Burdak-Rothkamm, M. Folkard, Kevin Prise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)


The accepted paradigm for radiation effects is that direct DNA damage via energy deposition is required to trigger the downstream biological consequences. The radiation-induced bystander effect is the ability of directly irradiated cells to interact with their nonirradiated neighbors, which can then show responses similar to those of the targeted cells. p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1) forms foci at DNA double-strand break sites and is an important sensor of DNA damage. This study used an ionizing radiation microbeam approach that allowed us to irradiate specifically the nucleus or cytoplasm of a cell and quantify response in irradiated and bystander cells by studying ionizing radiation-induced foci (IRIF) formation of 53BP1 protein. Our results show that targeting only the cytoplasm of a cell is capable of eliciting 53BP1 foci in both hit and bystander cells, independently of the dose or the number of cells targeted. Therefore, direct DNA damage is not required to trigger 53BP1 IRIF. The use of common reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) inhibitors prevent the formation of 53BP1 foci in hit and bystander cells. Treatment with filipin to disrupt membrane-dependent signaling does not prevent the cytoplasmic irradiation-induced 53BP1 foci in the irradiated cells, but it does prevent signaling to bystander cells. Active mitochondrial function is required for these responses because pseudo-rho(0) cells, which lack mitochondrial DNA, could not produce a bystander signal, although they could respond to a signal from normal rho(+) cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5872-5879
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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