Transcriptional response of human cells to microbeam irradiation with 2.1 MeV a-particles

Hellweg, C.E., Spitta, L., Arenz, A., Bogner, S.C., Ruscher, R., Baumstark-Khan, C., Greif, K.-D., and Giesen, U. (2007) Transcriptional response of human cells to microbeam irradiation with 2.1 MeV a-particles. Advances In Space Research, 39 (6). pp. 1056-1065.

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Within the next decades, an increasing number of human beings will be brought into space to carry out technical and scientific tasks. There, they will be exposed simultaneously to combined stimuli, especially microgravity and radiation. In the endeavour to assess the risks for humans during long-duration space missions, it is necessary to understand already at the cellular level the complex interplay of these parameters. Cellular stress protection responses lead to an increased transcription of several genes via the modulation of transcription factors. The activation of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathway as a possible anti-apoptotic route represents such an important cellular stress response. It is hypothesized that the activation of NF-κB and the subsequent expression of NF-κB-dependent genes is involved in the cellular response to components of the cosmic radiation. Irradiation of human embryonic kidney cells (HEK/293) with α-particles (2.1 MeV, LET ∼160 keV/μm) was performed at the PTB, Braunschweig, Germany. Using the microbeam facility, cells were exposed to nuclear hits or, for the purpose of comparison, to a diffuse irradiation of the whole cell. After irradiation the following biological endpoints were determined: (i) cell survival (by means of the colony forming ability test), and (ii) quantitative RT-PCR analysis of selected NF-κB target genes (IκBα GADD45β, bcl-2, and bcl-XL). One nuclear α-particle traversal reduces the probability to survive to ∼75%. Exposure to two α-particles per nucleus resulted in an upregulation of the expression of the GADD45β gene. After exposure of HEK cells to five nuclear hits, about 43% of the irradiated cells survived, and the transcriptional response was not significant. Ten nuclear hits activated the IκBα expression, this increased IκBα production might be involved in the termination of the radiation-induced NF-κB activation. Diffuse irradiation increased the transcription of IκBα and GADD45β. Expression of the antiapoptotic genes bcl-2 and bcl-XL remained almost unchanged after α-particle irradiation. These findings suggest a role for GADD45β in the cellular radiation response to low fluences, while IκBα is enrolled at higher fluences.

Item ID: 60664
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-1948
Keywords: Space; Human cells; Radiation; Gene expression; Microbeam; α particles; Nuclear factor κB; GADD45β; IκBα
Copyright Information: © 2007 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2019 03:37
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 50%
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