Cai, Z., Cloutier, P., Sanche, L. and Hunting, D. DNA Interduplex Crosslinks Induced by AlKα X Rays under Vacuum. Radiat. Res. 164, 173–179 (2005).
Dry pGEM®-3Zf(-) plasmid DNA was exposed to Alkα X rays (1.5 keV) for various times in an ultra-high vacuum chamber with mean absorbed dose rates ranging from 1.8 to 41.7 Gy s−1. The different forms of plasmid DNA were separated by neutral agarose gel electrophoresis and quantified by staining and laser scanning. In addition to the bands for supercoiled, nicked circular, linear and concatameric forms of plasmid DNA, two additional bands were observed in X-irradiated samples; these migrated at rates similar to those for 8-kb and >10-kb linear double-stranded DNA. Digestion of irradiated DNA with the restriction enzymes EcoR1 and PvuI suggested that the two slowly migrating bands were interduplex crosslinked DNA. Alkaline agarose gel electrophoresis of irradiated DNA digested with EcoR1 confirmed that the interduplex crosslink was covalent. Exposure–response curves were determined for the formation of nicked circular, linear and interduplex crosslinked DNA as well as for the loss of supercoiled and concatameric DNA. Formation and loss of these species were independent of absorbed dose rate over a 20-fold range. The G values for DNA single-strand breaks, double-strand breaks and crosslinks were determined to be 62 ± 6, 5.6 ± 0.6 and 16 ± 4 nmol J−1, respectively. The formation of DNA interduplex crosslinks appears to be due to single event. The mechanism responsible for the formation of DNA interduplex crosslinks is discussed with emphasis on its implications in vivo.