Howe, O., O'Malley, K., Lavin, M., Gardner, R. A., Seymour, C., Lyng, F., Mulvin, D., Quinlan, D. M. and Mothersill, C. Cell Death Mechanisms Associated with G2 Radiosensitivity in Patients with Prostate Cancer and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. Radiat. Res. 164, 627–634 (2005).

Cells respond to genotoxic insults such as ionizing radiation by halting in the G2 phase of the cell cycle. Delayed cell death (mitotic death) can occur when the cell is released from G2, and specific spindle defects form endopolyploid cells (endoreduplication/tetraploidy). Enhanced G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity has been observed in many cancers and genomic instability syndromes, and it is manifested by radiation-induced chromatid aberrations observed in lymphocytes of patients. Here we compare the G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity in prostate patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostate cancer with disease-free controls. We also investigated whether there is a correlation between G2 chromosomal radiosensitivity and aneuploidy (tetraploidy and endoreduplication), which are indicative of mitotic cell death. The G2 assay was carried out on all human blood samples. Metaphase analysis was conducted on the harvested chromosomes by counting the number of aberrations and the mitotic errors (endoreduplication/tetraploidy) separately per 100 metaphases. A total of 1/14 of the controls were radiosensitive in G2 compared to 6/15 of the BPH patients and 15/17 of the prostate cancer patients. Radiation-induced mitotic inhibition was assessed to determine the efficacy of G2 checkpoint control in the prostate patients. There was no significant correlation of G2 radiosensitivity scores and mitotic inhibition in BPH patients (P = 0.057), in contrast to prostate cancer patients, who showed a small but significant positive correlation (P = 0.029). Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between G2 radiosensitivity scores of BPH patients and endoreduplication/ tetraploidy (P = 0.136), which contrasted with an extremely significant correlation observed in prostate cancer patients (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, cells from prostate cancer patients show increased sensitivity to the induction of G2 aberrations from ionizing radiation exposure but paradoxically show reduced mitotic indices and aneuploidy as a function of aberration frequency.

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