Schwartz, J. L., Jordan, R., Evans, H. H., Lenarczyk, M. and Liber, H. The TP53 Dependence of Radiation-Induced Chromosome Instability in Human Lymphoblastoid Cells. Radiat. Res. 159, 730–736 (2003).
The dose and TP53 dependence for the induction of chromosome instability were examined in cells of three human lymphoblastoid cell lines derived from WIL2 cells: TK6, a TP53-normal cell line, NH32, a TP53-knockout created from TK6, and WTK1, a WIL2-derived cell line that spontaneously developed a TP53 mutation. Cells of each cell line were exposed to 137Cs γ rays, and then surviving clones were isolated and expanded in culture for approximately 35 generations before the frequency and characteristics of the instability were analyzed. The presence of dicentric chromosomes, formed by end-to-end fusions, served as a marker of chromosomal instability. Unexposed TK6 cells had low levels of chromosomal instability (0.002 ± 0.001 dicentrics/cell). Exposure of TK6 cells to doses as low as 5 cGy γ rays increased chromosome instability levels nearly 10-fold to 0.019 ± 0.008 dicentrics/cell. There was no further increase in instability levels beyond 5 cGy. In contrast to TK6 cells, unexposed cultures of WTK1 and NH32 cells had much higher levels of chromosome instability of 0.034 ± 0.007 and 0.041 ± 0.009, respectively, but showed little if any effect of radiation on levels of chromosome instability. The results suggest that radiation exposure alters the normal TP53-dependent cell cycle checkpoint controls that recognize alterations in telomere structure and activate apoptosis.