Friedland, W., Li, W. B., Jacob, P. and Paretzke, H. G. Simulation of Exon Deletion Mutations Induced by Low-LET Radiation at the HPRT Locus. Radiat. Res. 155, 703–715 (2001).

The induction of HPRT mutants with exon deletions after irradiation with photons was simulated using the biophysical radiation track structure model PARTRAC. The exon-intron structure of the human HPRT gene was incorporated into the chromatin fiber model in PARTRAC. After γ and X irradiation, simulated double-stranded DNA fragments that overlapped with exons were assumed to result in exon deletion mutations with a probability that depended on the genomic or the geometric distance between the breakpoints. The consequences of different assumptions about this probability of deletion formation were evaluated on the basis of the resulting fractions of total, terminal and intragenic deletions. Agreement with corresponding measurements was obtained assuming a constant probability of deletion formation for fragments smaller than about 0.1 Mbp, and a probability of deletion formation decreasing with increasing geometric or genomic distance between the end points for larger fragments. For these two assumptions, yields of mutants with exon deletions, size distributions of deletions, patterns of deleted exons, and patterns of deleted STS marker sites surrounding the gene were calculated and compared with experimental data. The yields, size distributions and exon deletion patterns were grossly consistent, whereas larger deviations were found for the STS marker deletion patterns in this comparison.

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