We investigated the influence of low-dose, low-dose-rate gamma-ray irradiation on DNA double strand break (DSB) repair in human lymphoblastoid TK6 cells. A single DSB was introduced at intron 4 of the TK+ allele (chromosome 17) by transfection with the I-SceI expression vector pCBASce. We assessed for DSB repair due to non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) by determining the generation of TK-deficient mutants in the TK6 derivative TSCE5 (TK +/-) carrying an I-SceI recognition site. We similarly estimated DSB repair via homologous recombination (HR) at the same site in the derived compound heterozygote (TK-/-) cell line TSCER2 that carries an additional point mutation in exon 5. The NHEJ repair of DSB was barely influenced by pre-irradiation of the cells with 30 mGy gamma-rays at 1.2 mGy h(-1). DSB repair by HR, in contrast, was enhanced by approximately 50% after pre-irradiation of the cells under these conditions. Furthermore, when I-SceI digestion was followed by irradiation at a dose of 8.5 mGy, delivered at a dose rate of only 0.125 mGy h(-1), HR repair efficiency was enhanced by approximately 80%. This experimental approach can be applied to characterize DSB repair in the low-dose region of ionizing radiation.
Biophysik 07/2008; 47(4):439-44. DOI:10.1007/s00411-008-0179-7 · 1.58 Impact Factor