Cell cycle checkpoints are essential cellular process protecting the integrity of the genome from DNA damaging agents. In the present study, we developed a microcolony assay, in which normal human diploid fibroblast-like cells exposed to ionizing radiation, were plated onto coverslips at very low density (3 cells/cm2). Cells were grown for up to 3 days, and phosphorylated ATM at Ser1981 and 53BP1 foci were analyzed as the markers for an amplified DNA damage signal. We observed a dose-dependent increase in the fraction of non-dividing cells, whose increase was compromised by knocking down p53 expression. While large persistent foci were predominantly formed in non-dividing cells, we observed some growing colonies that contained cells with large foci. As each microcolony was derived from a single cell, it appeared that some cells could proliferate with large foci. A live-imaging analysis using hTERT-immortalized normal human diploid cells transfected with the EGFP-tagged 53BP1 gene revealed that the formation of persistent large foci was highly dynamic. Delayed appearance and disappearance of large foci were frequently observed in exposed cells visualized 12-72 hours after X-irradiation. Thus, our results indicate that amplified DNA damage signal could be ignored, which may be explained in part by the dynamic nature of the amplification process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis