Exposure of synchronized populations of mouse C3H 10T1/2 cells to a single dose (0.6 Gy) of 5.9 MeV neutrons at intervals after mitotic shake-off results in a distinctive variation in the oncogenic transformation frequency through the cell cycle. Previous findings show a sensitive window for X-ray-induced oncogenic transformants at late times after mitotic shake-off (14-16 h). Optimal sensitivity to neutrons was observed for cell populations irradiated soon after mitotic shake-off (4-6 h), where the majority of cells would be in the G1 phase of the cell cycle. Additionally, enhanced sensitivity was also found for that period after shake-off (14-16 h) which was maximally sensitive to X rays corresponding to cell populations with a high proportion of G2-phase cells. That is, low-LET radiation (250 kVp X rays) largely appears to produce oncogenic transformants in G2-phase cells, while intermediate-LET radiation (5.9 MeV neutrons) is effective principally on${\rm G}_{1}\text{-}$ and, to a somewhat lesser extent, G2-phase cells. Cells irradiated with neutrons showed less variation for lethality through the cell cycle than those irradiated with X rays, in agreement with previous findings. The mechanistic basis for the difference in the response of cells in the different phases of the cell cycle to radiations of different quality is unknown but is suggestive of distinct ("signature") molecular changes leading to the observed oncogenic transformation response.

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