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23 August 2010 Initial Characterization of a Low-Molecular-Weight Factor Enhancing the Checkpoint Response
Xiaoxiang Fan, Nge Cheong, George Iliakis
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In higher eukaryotes, DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) induced by ionizing radiation activate checkpoints that delay progression through the cell cycle. Compared to delays in other phases of the cell cycle, delays induced in G2 are longer and frequently correlate with resistance to killing by radiation. Therefore, modulation of the G2 checkpoint offers a means to modulate cellular radiosensitivity. Although compounds are known that reduce the G2 checkpoint and act as radiosensitizers, compounds enhancing this checkpoint have not been reported. Here we summarize evidence for a factor with such properties. We show that a highly radioresistant rat embryo fibroblast (REF) cell line displays a strong G2 checkpoint partly as a result of a factor excreted into the growth medium by nonirradiated cells. Various tests indicate that this G2-arrest modulating activity (GAMA) is a small molecule showing detectable retention only after passing through filters with a molecular weight cutoff limit of less than 1,000 Da. GAMA is heat stable and resistant to treatment with proteases or nucleases. Electroelution tests show that GAMA is uncharged at neutral pH, a result that is in agreement with the observed failure to bind S- or Q-Sepharose. Investigations on the mechanism of GAMA function indicate ligand-receptor interactions and allow the classification of cells as producers, responders or both. Compounds with properties such as those of GAMA bridge intercellular communication with the DNA damage response and may function as radioprotectors.

Xiaoxiang Fan, Nge Cheong, and George Iliakis "Initial Characterization of a Low-Molecular-Weight Factor Enhancing the Checkpoint Response," Radiation Research 174(4), 424-435, (23 August 2010).
Received: 5 February 2010; Accepted: 1 June 2010; Published: 23 August 2010
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