Someya, M., Sakata, K., Tauchi, H., Matsumoto, Y., Nakamura, A., Komatsu, K. and Hareyama, M. Association of Ionizing Radiation-Induced Foci of NBS1 with Chromosomal Instability and Breast Cancer Susceptibility. Radiat. Res. 166, 575–582 (2006).
NBS1, a protein essential for DNA double-strand break repair, relocalizes into subnuclear structures upon induction of DNA damage by ionizing radiation, forming ionizing radiation-induced foci. We compared radiation-induced NBS1 foci in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from 46 sporadic breast cancer patients and 30 healthy cancer-free volunteers. The number of persistent radiation-induced NBS1 foci per nucleus at 24 h after irradiation for patients with invasive cancer was significantly higher than for normal healthy volunteers. The frequency of spontaneous chromosome aberration increased as the number of persistent radiation-induced NBS1 foci increased, indicating that the number of persistent radiation-induced NBS1 foci might be associated with chromosome instability. There was also an inverse correlation between the number of radiation-induced NBS1 foci and the activity of DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), which plays an important role in the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway, another mechanism of DNA DSB repair, indicating a close interrelationship between homologous recombination (HR) and NHEJ in DNA DSB repair. In conclusion, the number of persistent radiation-induced NBS1 foci is associated with chromosomal instability and risk of sporadic breast cancer and hence might be used to select individuals for whom a detailed examination is necessary because of their increased susceptibility to breast cancer, although refinement of the techniques for technical simplicity and accuracy will be required for clinical use.