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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Quantitative assessment of the contribution of clustered damage to DNA double-strand breaks induced by 60Co gamma rays and fission neutrons.

The induction of DNA strand breaks by fission neutrons was studied in aqueous plasmid (pBR322) DNA under aerobic conditions for a wide range of hydroxyl radical (*OH) scavenger concentrations and was compared to the induction of strand breaks by 6OCo gamma rays. Strand breaks were measured using agarose gel electrophoresis coupled with sensitive 32P-based phosphor imaging. Yields are reported for DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) and double-strand breaks formed linearly with dose (alphaDSBs). The fraction of alphaDSBs that were dependent on the multiply damaged site (MDS) or clustered damage mechanism was also calculated using a model. G values for SSBs and alphaDSBs declined with increasing *OH scavenging capacity. However, with increasing *OH scavenging capacities, the decrease in yields of strand breaks for fission neutrons was not as pronounced as for gamma rays. The percentage of alphaDSBs for gamma rays was dependent on *OH scavenging capacity, appearing negligible at low scavenging capacities but increasing at higher scavenging capacities. In contrast, fission neutrons induced high percentages of alphaDSBs that were approximately independent of *OH scavenging capacity. The levels of alphaDSBs formed by the MDS mechanism after exposure to fission neutrons are consistent with the expected distinctive features of high-LET energy deposition events and track structure. The results also confirm observations made by others that even for low-LET radiation, the MDS mechanism contributes significantly to DNA damage at cell-like scavenging conditions.[1]


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