Gollapalle, E., Wang, R., Adetolu, R., Tsao, D., Francisco, D., Sigounas, G. and Georgakilas, A. G. Detection of Oxidative Clustered DNA Lesions in X-Irradiated Mouse Skin Tissues and Human MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. Radiat. Res. 167, 207–216 (2007).
Bistranded oxidative clustered DNA lesions are closely spaced lesions (1–10 bp) that challenge the DNA repair mechanisms and are associated with genomic instability. The endogenous levels of oxidative clustered DNA lesions in cells of human cancer cell lines or in animal tissues remain unknown, and these lesions may persist for a long time after irradiation. We measured the different types of DNA clusters in cells of two human cell lines, MCF-7 and MCF-10A, and in skin obtained from mice exposed to either 12.5 Gy or sham X radiation. For the detection and measurement of oxidative clustered DNA lesions, we used adaptations of number average length analysis, constant-field agarose gel electrophoresis, putrescine, and the repair enzymes APE1, OGG1 (human) and Nth1 (E. coli). Increased levels of all cluster types were detected in skin tissue from animals exposed to radiation at 20 weeks postirradiation. The level of endogenous (no radiation treatment) oxidative clustered DNA lesions was higher in MCF-7 cells compared to nonmalignant MCF-10A cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate persistence of oxidative clustered DNA lesions for up to 20 weeks in animal tissues exposed to radiation and to detect these clusters in human breast cancer cells. This may underscore the biological significance of clustered DNA lesions.