Chromosome breakpoints induced by neutrons or γ rays in Chinese hamster ovary cells were mapped to Giemsa-light or Giemsa-dark bands or to band junctions. Radiation-induced breakpoints were found to be distributed nonrandomly according to chromosome or band length. More than 60% of the breakpoints were localized in G-light bands. A group of 13 bands which corresponded to only 7% of the total chromosome length contained 22% of the breakpoints produced by neutrons and 14% of those induced by γ rays. Seven of these 13 bands are also preferentially damaged by AluI, BamHI and DNase I as reported previously. The results indicate that chromatin and nuclear structure may play a role in the distribution of breakpoints produced by ionizing radiation and endonucleases.

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