The role played by DNA cluster damage and chromosome aberrations in radiation-induced cell killing was investigated, assuming that certain chromosome aberrations (dicentrics, rings and large deletions, or 'lethal aberrations') lead to clonogenic inactivation and that chromosome aberrations are due to micrometre-scale rejoining of chromosome fragments derived from DNA cluster lesions (CLs). The CL yield and the threshold distance governing fragment rejoining were left as model parameters. The model, implemented as a Monte Carlo code called BIANCA (BIophysical ANalysis of Cell death and chromosome Aberrations), provided simulated survival curves that were compared with survival data on AG1522 and V79 cells exposed to different radiation types, including heavy ions. The agreement between simulation outcomes and experimental data suggests that lethal aberrations are likely to play an important role in cell killing not only for AG1522 cells exposed to X rays, as already reported by others, but also for other radiation types and other cells. Furthermore, the results are consistent with the hypothesis that the critical DNA lesions leading to cell death and chromosome aberrations are double-strand break clusters (possibly involving the ~ 1000-10 000 bp scale) and that the effects of such clusters are modulated by micrometre-scale proximity effects during DNA damage processing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health