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Molecular assays of radiation-induced DNA damage.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Stephen J. Whitaker
  • Simon N. Powell
  • Trevor J. McMillan
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/1991
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology
Issue number7
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)922-928
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


There is a need for assays of DNA damage in many areas of laboratory research applied to radiation therapy, in order to understand the molecular processes involved in cell killing by ionising radiation and to predict in vivo response. Assays exist which measure many types of DNA damage following ionising radiation. From studies of the dose-response relationships for different types of damage, the double-strand break (dsb) has been shown to be the most significant lesion. Assays for DNA dsb have been of low sensitivity, such that supralethal doses of radiation had to be used in order to study dsb induction or repair. New assays, such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, are sensitive to dsb in a dose range relevant to cell survival. In addition, these assays can assess the distribution of dsb in different parts of the genome and determine heterogeneity of damage induction and repair. Assays which measure the effects of strand breaks on DNA complexed with nuclear matrix can reveal features of chromatin organisation and their influence on cellular radiosensitivity.