The induction of mutants at the heterozygous tk locus by X radiation was found to be dose-rate dependent in L5178Y-R16 (LY-R16) cells, but very little dose-rate dependence was observed in the case of strain L5178Y-S1 (LY-S1), which is deficient in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks. Induction of mutants by X radiation at the hemizygous hprt locus was dose-rate independent for both strains. These results are in agreement with the hypothesis that the majority of${\rm X}\text{-radiation-induced}\ {\rm TK}^{-/-}$ mutants harbor multilocus deletions caused by the interaction of damaged DNA sites. Repair of DNA lesions during low-dose-rate X irradiation would be expected to reduce the probability of lesion interaction. The results suggest that in contrast to the${\rm TK}^{-/-}$ mutants, the majority of mutations at the hprt locus in these strains of L5178Y cells are caused by single lesions subject to dose-rate-independent repair. The vast majority of the${\rm TK}^{-/-}$ mutants of strain LY-R16 showed loss of the entire active tk allele, whether the mutants arose spontaneously or were induced by high-dose-rate or low-dose-rate X irradiation. The proportion of${\rm TK}^{-/-}$ mutants with multilocus deletions (in which the products of both the tk gene and the closely linked gk gene were inactivated) was higher in the repair-deficient strain LY-S1 than in strain LY-R16. However, even though the mutant frequency decreased with dose rate, the proportion of mutants showing inactivation of both the tk and gk genes increased with a decrease in dose rate. The reason for these apparently conflicting results concerning the effect of DNA repair on the induction of extended lesions is under investigation.

This content is only available as a PDF.