Franco, N., Lamartine, J., Frouin, V., Le Minter, P., Petat, C., Leplat, J.-J., Libert, F., Gidrol, X. and Martin, M. T. Low-Dose Exposure to γ Rays Induces Specific Gene Regulations in Normal Human Keratinocytes. Radiat. Res. 163, 623–635 (2005).
Skin is the organ most exposed to various environmental aggressors, including ionizing radiation. Low-dose and low-dose-rate exposures to γ rays account for most occupational, medical or environmental irradiations. To examine whether this type of exposure triggers specific molecular responses, cultured primary keratinocytes isolated from adult normal skin were irradiated with single acute doses of 1 cGy or 2 Gy. DNA microarrays containing 10,500 probes were used to assess transcriptional changes over a time course between 3 and 72 h postirradiation. Keratinocytes were studied at a differentiated stage to mimic the response of cells from the suprabasal layers of the epidermis. A major finding of this study was the identification of an important number of low-dose-specific genes (140), most of which were modulated at 48 h. Clustering analysis also revealed low-dose-specific profiles. One of these clusters (17 known genes) was further analyzed using Gibbs sampling algorithm, which led to the identification of 7 putative promoter sequences. These results show for the first time that low-dose ionizing radiation is able to induce specific transcriptional responses in human keratinocytes. Our findings support the potential usefulness of microarrays in biological dosimetry studies after low-dose exposures.