Cells from ataxia-telangiectasia (AT) patients are hypersensitive to the lethal effects of ionizing radiation. To assess radiation mutagenesis in these cells, the SV40-based shuttle vector, pZ189, was used to analyze γ-ray-induced mutations following the plasmid's replication in AT lymphoblasts. Progenies from the AT line GM2783 exposed to 50 Gy showed a mutation frequency of 7.6× 10-3, 63-fold over background; surviving plasmids were 3.4% of control. Both values were essentially the same as those of irradiated plasmids replicated in a normal lymphoblast line, GM606. In addition, pZ189 exposed to 25 Gy of γ radiation and replicated in another normal lymphoblast line and in cells of two additional AT lymphoblast lines showed similar mutation frequencies and percentages of surviving plasmids. Qualitative comparison of plasmid mutations from AT and normal cells showed no significant differences, indicating that the damaged DNA was repaired with similar fidelity in AT and normal cells. These studies suggest that there is no correlation between the enhanced sensitivity of AT cells to killing by ionizing radiation and γ-radiation-induced mutagenesis of plasmid DNA processed in these cells.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.