Nagasawa, H., Peng, Y., Wilson, P. F., Lio, Y-C., Chen, D. J., Bedford, J. S. and Little, J. B. Role of Homologous Recombination in the Alpha-Particle-Induced Bystander Effect for Sister Chromatid Exchanges and Chromosomal Aberrations. Radiat. Res. 164, 141–147 (2005).

The bystander effect for sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) and chromosomal aberrations was examined in hamster cell lines deficient in either DNA-PKcs (V3 cells, deficient in nonhomologous end joining, NHEJ) or RAD51C (irs3 cells, deficient in homologous recombination, HR). Cells synchronized in G0/G1 phase were irradiated with very low fluences of α particles such that <1% of the nuclei were traversed by an α particle. Wild-type cells showed a prominent bystander response for SCE induction; an even greater effect was observed in V3 cells. On the other hand, no significant induction of SCE was observed in the irs3 RAD51C-deficient bystander cells irradiated at various stages in the cell cycle. Whereas a marked bystander effect for chromosomal aberrations occurred in V3 cells, the induction of chromosomal aberrations in irs3 bystander cells was minimal and similar to that of wild-type cells. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that HR is essential for the induction of SCE in bystander cells; however, HR is unable to repair the DNA damage induced in NHEJ-deficient bystander cells that leads to either SCE or chromosomal aberrations.

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