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, 51 (17), 4671-6

DNA Double-Strand Breaks Measured in Individual Cells Subjected to Gel Electrophoresis

  • PMID: 1873812

DNA Double-Strand Breaks Measured in Individual Cells Subjected to Gel Electrophoresis

P L Olive et al. Cancer Res.


Microscopic examination of individual mammalian cells embedded in agarose, subjected to electrophoresis, and stained with a fluorescent DNA-binding dye provides a novel way of measuring DNA damage and more importantly, of assessing heterogeneity in DNA damage within a mixed population of cells. With this method, DNA double-strand breaks can be detected in populations of cells exposed to X-ray doses as low as 5 Gy. The radiation dose-response relationship for initial formation of double-strand breaks was identical for cell lines irradiated in G1, regardless of their sensitivity to killing by ionizing radiation. However, for cells irradiated in S phase, DNA migration was significantly reduced. For Chinese hamster V79 cells, Chinese hamster ovary cells, WiDr human colon carcinoma cells, and L5178Y-R mouse lymphoblastoid cells, S-phase DNA appeared to be about 3 times less sensitive to X-ray damage than DNA from other phases of the cell cycle. However, for the very radiosensitive L5178Y-S cells, the migration of replicating DNA was reduced only slightly. For Chinese hamster V79 and Chinese hamster ovary cells, damage was repaired at a similar rate in all cells of the population, and 85% of the breaks were rejoined within 2 h after irradiation. The radiosensitive L5178Y-S cells repaired damage more slowly than V79 or Chinese hamster ovary cells; 2 h after exposure to 50 Gy, approximately 50% of the damage was still present.

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