[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a paucity of large animal models to study both the extent and the health risk of ionizing radiation exposure in humans. One promising candidate for such a model is the minipig. Here, we evaluate the minipig for its potential in γ-H2AX-based biodosimetry after exposure to ionizing radiation using both Cs137 and Co60 sources. γ-H2AX foci were enumerated in blood lymphocytes and normal fibroblasts of human and porcine origin after ex vivo g-ray irradiation. DNA double-strand break repair kinetics in minipig blood lymphocytes and fibroblasts, based on the γ-H2AX assay, were similar to those observed in their human counterparts. To substantiate the similarity observed between the human and minipig we show that minipig fibroblast radiosensitivity was similar to that observed with human fibroblasts. Finally, a strong γ-H2AX induction was observed in blood lymphocytes following minipig total body irradiation. Significant responses were detected 3 days after 1.8 Gy and 1 week after 3.8 and 5 Gy with residual γ-H2AX foci proportional to the initial radiation doses. These findings show that the Gottingen minipig provides a useful in vivo model for validation of γ-H2AX biodosimetry for dose assessment in humans.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2013; 14(7):14119-35. · 2.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several front-line chemotherapeutics cause mitochondria-derived, oxidative stress-mediated cardiotoxicity. Iron chelators and other antioxidants have not completely succeeded in mitigating this effect. One hindrance to the development of cardioprotectants is the lack of physiologically-relevant animal models to simultaneously study antitumor activity and cardioprotection. Therefore, we optimized a syngeneic rat model and examined the mechanisms by which oxidative stress affects outcome. Immune-competent spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs) were implanted with passaged, SHR-derived, breast tumor cell line, SST-2. Tumor growth and cytokine responses (IL-1A, MCP-1, TNF-α) were observed for two weeks post-implantation. To demonstrate the utility of the SHR/SST-2 model for monitoring both anticancer efficacy and cardiotoxicity, we tested cardiotoxic doxorubicin alone and in combination with an established cardioprotectant, dexrazoxane, or a nitroxide conjugated to a triphenylphosphonium cation, Mito-Tempol (4) [Mito-T (4)]. As predicted, tumor reduction and cardiomyopathy were demonstrated by doxorubicin. We confirmed mitochondrial accumulation of Mito-T (4) in tumor and cardiac tissue. Dexrazoxane and Mito-T (4) ameliorated doxorubicin-induced cardiomyopathy without altering the antitumor activity. Both agents increased the pro-survival autophagy marker LC3-II and decreased the apoptosis marker caspase-3 in the heart, independently and in combination with doxorubicin. Histopathology and transmission electron microscopy demonstrated apoptosis, autophagy, and necrosis corresponding to cytotoxicity in the tumor and cardioprotection in the heart. Changes in serum levels of 8-oxo-dG-modified DNA and total protein carbonylation corresponded to cardioprotective activity. Finally, 2D-electrophoresis/mass spectrometry identified specific serum proteins oxidized under cardiotoxic conditions. Our results demonstrate the utility of the SHR/SST-2 model and the potential of mitochondrially-directed agents to mitigate oxidative stress-induced cardiotoxicity. Our findings also emphasize the novel role of specific protein oxidation markers and autophagic mechanisms for cardioprotection.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(8):e70575. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Direct cellular DNA damage may lead to genome destabilization in unexposed, bystander, cells sharing the same milieu with directly damaged cells by means of the bystander effect. One proposed mechanism involves double strand break (DSB) formation in S phase cells at sites of single strand lesions in the DNA of replication complexes, which has a more open structure compared with neighboring DNA. The DNA in transcription complexes also has a more open structure, and hence may be susceptible to bystander DSB formation from single strand lesions. To examine whether transcription predisposes non-replicating cells to bystander effect-induced DNA DSBs, we examined two types of primary cells that exhibit high levels of transcription in the absence of replication, rat neurons and human lymphocytes. We found that non-replicating bystander cells with high transcription rates exhibited substantial levels of DNA DSBs, as monitored by γ-H2AX foci formation. Additionally, as reported in proliferating cells, TGF-β and NO were found to mimic bystander effects in cell populations lacking DNA synthesis. These results indicate that cell vulnerability to bystander DSB damage may result from transcription as well as replication. The findings offer insights into which tissues may be vulnerable to bystander genomic destabilization in vivo.
Nucleic Acids Research 08/2012; · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) form a class of molecules with both positive and negative impacts on cellular health. Negatively, ROS may react with cellular constituents including proteins, lipids, and DNA to generate an array of oxidative lesions. These lesions may compromise genome stability which is critical for long-term cellular homeostasis and healthy progeny. Paradoxically, ROS also function as strong signalling molecules that mediate various growth-related responses, so their presence is also essential to cellular metabolism. While ROS are generated in an unregulated manner by physical stresses such as exposure to ionizing radiation and biochemical malfunctions such as mitochondrial leakage, cells also contain the NADPH oxidases NOXs and DUOXs, which specifically generate ROS in a wide variety of tissues. While the NOXs/DUOXs may be involved in maintaining optimal cellular redox levels, there is also accumulating evidence that NADPH oxidases-derived ROS may elevate the risk for genomic instability and cancer. Cancer cells may produce high levels of ROS, and in some cases, the source of these ROS has been linked to NOX/DUOX deregulation as reported for prostate cancer (NOX1 and NOX5), melanoma and glioblastoma (NOX4) among others. In addition, recent studies reveal that targeting NADPH oxidases with NOXs inhibitors may impair tumor growth in vivo; indicating that these proteins may be useful targets in future clinical strategies to fight cancer. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge concerning these enzymes, their roles in cancer, and their potential as targets in future cancer therapies.
Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry 08/2012;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Histone variants are non-allelic protein isoforms that play key roles in diversifying chromatin structure. The known number of such variants has greatly increased in recent years, but the lack of naming conventions for them has led to a variety of naming styles, multiple synonyms and misleading homographs that obscure variant relationships and complicate database searches. We propose here a unified nomenclature for variants of all five classes of histones that uses consistent but flexible naming conventions to produce names that are informative and readily searchable. The nomenclature builds on historical usage and incorporates phylogenetic relationships, which are strong predictors of structure and function. A key feature is the consistent use of punctuation to represent phylogenetic divergence, making explicit the relationships among variant subtypes that have previously been implicit or unclear. We recommend that by default new histone variants be named with organism-specific paralog-number suffixes that lack phylogenetic implication, while letter suffixes be reserved for structurally distinct clades of variants. For clarity and searchability, we encourage the use of descriptors that are separate from the phylogeny-based variant name to indicate developmental and other properties of variants that may be independent of structure.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enhanced radiosensitivity is an uncommon phenomenon attributable to deficient DNA repair after radiotherapy which can be assessed with the γ-H2AX assay. Reports of radiosensitivity after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) are uncommon. We describe a case where the clinical, radiological and laboratory findings suggest enhanced radiosensitivity after SRS for an acoustic neuroma.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 05/2012; 103(3):410-4. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chromatin is a dynamic complex of DNA and proteins that regulates the flow of information from genome to end product. The efficient recognition and faithful repair of DNA damage, particularly double-strand damage, is essential for genomic stability and cellular homeostasis. Imperfect repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can lead to oncogenesis. The efficient repair of DSBs relies in part on the rapid formation of foci of phosphorylated histone H2AX (γ-H2AX) at each break site, and the subsequent recruitment of repair factors. These foci can be visualized with appropriate antibodies, enabling low levels of DSB damage to be measured in samples obtained from patients. Such measurements are proving useful to optimize treatments involving ionizing radiation, to assay in vivo the efficiency of various drugs to induce DNA damage, and to help diagnose patients with a variety of syndromes involving elevated levels of γ-H2AX. We will survey the state of the art of utilizing γ-H2AX in clinical settings. We will also discuss possibilities with other histone post-translational modifications. The ability to measure in vivo the responses of individual patients to particular drugs and/or radiation may help optimize treatments and improve patient care. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Chromatin in time and space.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2012; 1819(7):743-56. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are essential for survival but also pose serious risks to that survival. A particularly striking example was the demonstration in 2003 by the Campisi group that primary mouse fibroblasts have an indefinite proliferative lifespan in 3% oxygen, the amount found in the capillaries feeding the tissues, but greatly shortened ones under normal in vitro culturing conditions, i. e., 20% oxygen. Now, the same group has generated some insights into how oxidative stress contributes to cellular senescence and aging phenotypes in mouse skin.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously used the γ-H2AX assay as a biodosimeter for total-body irradiation (TBI) exposure (γ-rays) in a rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model. Utilizing peripheral blood lymphocytes and plucked hairs, we obtained statistically significant γ-H2AX responses days after total-body exposure to 1–8.5 Gy (60Co γ-rays at 55 cGy min−1). Here, we introduce a partial-body exposure analysis method, Qγ−H2AX, which is based on the number of γ-H2AX foci per damaged cells as evident by having one or more γ-H2AX foci per cell. Results from the rhesus monkey – TBI study were used to establish Qγ−H2AX dose-response calibration curves to assess acute partial-body exposures. γ-H2AX foci were detected in plucked hairs for several days after in vivo irradiation demonstrating this assay’s utility for dose assessment in various body regions. The quantitation of γ-H2AX may provide a robust biodosimeter for analyzing partial-body exposures to ionizing radiation in humans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A phase I trial of ABT-888 (veliparib), a PARP inhibitor, in combination with topotecan, a topoisomerase I-targeted agent, was carried out to determine maximum tolerated dose (MTD), safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of the combination in patients with refractory solid tumors and lymphomas. Varying schedules and doses of intravenous topotecan in combination with ABT-888 (10 mg) administered orally twice a day (BID) were evaluated. Plasma and urine pharmacokinetics were assessed and levels of poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) and the DNA damage marker γH2AX were measured in tumor and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Twenty-four patients were enrolled. Significant myelosuppression limited the ability to coadminister ABT-888 with standard doses of topotecan, necessitating dose reductions. Preclinical studies using athymic mice carrying human tumor xenografts also informed schedule changes. The MTD was established as topotecan 0.6 mg/m²/d and ABT-888 10 mg BID on days one to five of 21-day cycles. Topotecan did not alter the pharmacokinetics of ABT-888. A more than 75% reduction in PAR levels was observed in 3 paired tumor biopsy samples; a greater than 50% reduction was observed in PBMCs from 19 of 23 patients with measurable levels. Increases in γH2AX response in circulating tumor cells (CTC) and PBMCs were observed in patients receiving ABT-888 with topotecan. We show a mechanistic interaction of a PARP inhibitor, ABT-888, with a topoisomerase I inhibitor, topotecan, in PBMCs, tumor, and CTCs. Results of this trial reveal that PARP inhibition can modulate the capacity to repair topoisomerase I-mediated DNA damage in the clinic.
Cancer Research 08/2011; 71(17):5626-34. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The importance of bystander effects is becoming more appreciated, as studies show they may affect the course of cancer and other chronic diseases. The term "bystander effects" refers to changes in naïve cells sharing the same milieu with cells that have been damaged. Bystander cells may be in contact with, or distant from, damaged cells. In addition, it has been shown in culture that not only physically damaged cells, but also cells that have become abnormal (i.e., cancerous or senescent) may induce bystander effects. Recently, we have shown a similar effect in animals. Mice harboring subcutaneous tumors exhibited elevated levels of DNA damage in distant organs. In contrast to cell culture, immune cells seemed to be involved in tumor-induced bystander effects in animals because CCL2-null tumor-bearing mice did not exhibit increased distant DNA damage. Here, we discuss some of the implications of these observations.
Cancer Research 05/2011; 71(10):3437-41. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The past year has seen considerable developments in the use of the DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) to evaluate genome alterations in cells undergoing a variety of genotoxic stresses in vitro and in vivo. When the γ-H2AX foci which mark the DSBs are stained, individual breaks are detectible, making the assay suitable for situations requiring great sensitivity. While the methods for the detection of γ-H2AX foci are still evolving, particularly for in vivo detection, the basic assay has proven to be useful in several diverse areas of research. We will highlight recent developments of the assay in four areas: radiation biodosimetry, the evaluation or validation of new cancer drugs in clinical studies, chronic inflammation, and environmental genotoxicity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphorylated H2AX (γ-H2AX) is essential to the efficient recognition and (or) repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), and many molecules, often thousands, of H2AX become rapidly phosphorylated at the site of each nascent DSB. An antibody to γ-H2AX reveals that this highly amplified process generates nuclear foci. The phosphorylation site is a serine four residues from the C-terminus which has been evolutionarily conserved in organisms from giardia intestinalis to humans. Mice and yeast lacking the conserved serine residue demonstrate a variety of defects in DNA DSB processing. H2AXΔ/Δ mice are smaller, sensitive to ionizing radiation, defective in class switch recombination and spermatogenesis while cells from the mice demonstrate substantially increased numbers of genomic defects. γ-H2AX foci formation is a sensitive biological dosimeter and presents new and exciting opportunities to understand important biological processes, human diseases, and individual variations in radiation sensitivity. These potentialities demonstrate the importance of understanding the parameters and functions of γ-H2AX formation.
Biochemistry and Cell Biology 01/2011; 81(3):123-129. · 2.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The radiation induced bystander effect is a well-accepted consequence of ionizing radiation exposure. However, it has become clear that bystander responses in vitro can result from a number of stress stimuli. We had reported that media conditioned on tumor cell cultures induced a bystander effect in recipient normal cell cultures and asked whether an analogous process could occur in vivo-could the presence of a tumor induce DNA damage in distant tissues. We recently demonstrated the presence of a distant bystander DNA damage response in vivo in the gastrointestinal organs and skin of mice implanted with subcutaneous tumors. The activation of inflammatory macrophages through the cytokine CCL2 was found to be required for this distant genotoxic response. These results shed new light on the consequences of tumor growth to distant parts of the body and highlight the potential for possible medical interventions to mitigate the effect of cancers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The γH2AX focus assay represents a fast and sensitive approach for the detection of one of the critical types of DNA damage - double-strand breaks (DSB) induced by various cytotoxic agents including ionising radiation. Apart from research applications, the assay has a potential in clinical medicine/pathology, such as assessment of individual radiosensitivity, response to cancer therapies, as well as in biodosimetry. Given that generally there is a direct relationship between numbers of microscopically visualised γH2AX foci and DNA DSB in a cell, the number of foci per nucleus represents the most efficient and informative parameter of the assay. Although computational approaches have been developed for automatic focus counting, the tedious and time consuming manual focus counting still remains the most reliable way due to limitations of computational approaches. We suggest a computational approach and associated software for automatic focus counting that minimises these limitations. Our approach, while using standard image processing algorithms, maximises the automation of identification of nuclei/cells in complex images, offers an efficient way to optimise parameters used in the image analysis and counting procedures, optionally invokes additional procedures to deal with variations in intensity of the signal and background in individual images, and provides automatic batch processing of a series of images. We report results of validation studies that demonstrated correlation of manual focus counting with results obtained using our computational algorithm for mouse jejunum touch prints, mouse tongue sections and human blood lymphocytes as well as radiation dose response of γH2AX focus induction for these biological specimens.
Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 01/2011; 711(1-2):49-60. · 3.90 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measurement of DNA double-strand break (DSB) levels in cells is useful in many research areas, including those related to DNA damage and repair, tumorigenesis, anti-cancer drug development, apoptosis, radiobiology, environmental effects, and aging, as well as in the clinic. DSBs can be detected in the nuclei of cultured cells and tissues with an antibody to H2AX phosphorylated on serine residue 139 (γ-H2AX). DSB levels can be obtained either by measuring overall γ-H2AX protein levels in a cell population or by counting γ-H2AX foci in individual nuclei. Total levels can be obtained in extracts of cell populations by immunoblot analysis, and in cell populations by flow cytometry. Furthermore, with flow cytometry, the cell cycle distribution of a population can be obtained in addition to DSB levels, which is an advantage when studying anti-cancer drugs targeting replicating tumor cells. These described methods are used in genotoxicity assays of compounds of interest or in analyzing DSB repair after exposure to drugs or radiation. Immunocyto/immunohistochemical analysis can detect γ-H2AX foci in individual cells and is very sensitive (a single DSB can be visualized), permitting the use of extremely small samples. Measurements of γ-H2AX focal numbers can reveal subtle changes found in the radiation-induced tissue bystander response, low dose radiation exposure, and in cells with mutations in genomic stability maintenance pathways. In addition, marking DNA DSBs in a nucleus with γ-H2AX is a powerful tool to identify novel DNA repair proteins by their abilities to co-localize with γ-H2AX foci at the DSB site. This chapter presents techniques for γ-H2AX detection in a variety of human and mouse samples.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2011; 682:249-70.