Identification and Preliminary Validation of Radiation Response Protein(s) in Human Blood for a High-throughput Molecular Biodosimetry Technology for the Future

Genome Integr. 2017 Jan 23;8:5. doi: 10.4103/2041-9414.198910. eCollection 2017.


The absence of a rapid and high-throughput technology for radiation biodosimetry has been a great obstacle in our full preparedness to cope with large-scale radiological incidents. The existing cytogenetic technologies have limitations, primarily due to their time-consuming methodologies, which include a tissue culture step, and the time required for scoring. This has seriously undermined its application in a mass casualty scenario under radiological emergencies for timely triage and medical interventions. Recent advances in genomics and proteomics in the postgenomic era have opened up new platforms and avenues to discover molecular biomarkers for biodosimetry in the future. Using a genomic-to-proteomic approach, we have identified a basket of twenty "candidate" radiation response genes (RRGs) using DNA microarray and tools of bioinformatics immediately after ex vivo irradiation of freshly drawn whole blood of consenting and healthy human volunteers. The candidate RRGs have partially been validated using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR or qPCR) to identify potential "candidate" RRGs at mRNA level. Two potential RRGs, CDNK1A and ZNF440, have so far been identified as genes with potentials to form radiation response proteins in liquid biopsy of blood, which shall eventually form the basis of fluorescence- or ELISA-based quantitative immunoprobe assay for a high-throughput technology of molecular biodosimetry in the future. More work is continuing.

Keywords: Biodosimetry; high-throughput technology; human blood; liquid biopsy; radiation response genes; radiation response proteins.