High frequency of AML1/RUNX1 point mutations in radiation-associated myelodysplastic syndrome around Semipalatinsk nuclear test site

J Radiat Res. 2008 Sep;49(5):549-55. doi: 10.1269/jrr.08040. Epub 2008 Aug 23.


It is known that bone marrow is a sensitive organ to ionizing radiation, and many patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) or myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) have been diagnosed in radiation-treated cases and atomic bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The AML1/RUNX1 gene has been known to be frequently mutated in MDS/AML patients among atomic bomb survivors and radiation therapy-related MDS/AML patients. In this study, we investigated the AML1 mutations in radiation-exposed patients with MDS/AML among the residents near the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site (SNTS), where the risk of solid cancers and leukemias was increased due to the radiation effects. AML1 mutations were identified in 7 (39%) of 18 radiation-exposed MDS/AML patients. In contrast, no AML1 mutation was found in 13 unexposed MDS/AML cases. The frequency of AML1 mutations in radiation-exposed patients with MDS/AML was significantly higher compared with unexposed patients (p < 0.05).We also found a significant correlation between individual estimated doses and AML1 mutations (p < 0.05). Considering these results, AML1 point mutations might be a useful biomarker that differentiates radio-induced MDS/AML from spontaneous MDS/AML.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit / genetics*
  • Environmental Exposure / analysis*
  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / epidemiology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes / genetics*
  • Nuclear Warfare*
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Radiation Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Radiation Injuries / genetics*
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • USSR / epidemiology


  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 2 Subunit
  • RUNX1 protein, human