The genomic landscape neighboring large deletions including the hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl transferase (HPRT) locus on human X chromosome in 6-thioguanine-resistant mutants originating from immortalized human fibroblast cells exposed to X rays was characterized by real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR)-based analyses. Among the 13 mutant clones with large deletions extending over several Mb, including the HPRT locus, revealed by 10 conventional sequence-tagged site (STS) markers, three clones bearing the largest deletions were selected for further qPCR analysis using another 21 STS markers and 15 newly designed PCR primer pairs. The results indicated that the major deletions were in very specific regions between the 130-Mb and 140-Mb positions containing the HPRT locus on the X chromosome and, contrary to our initial expectations, additional minor deletions were distributed in a patchwork pattern. These findings strongly indicate that the complex deletion patterns in the affected chromosome are related to the radiation track structure with spatially heterogeneous energy deposition and the specific structure of the chromatin-nuclear membrane complex. The uncovered complex deletion patterns are in agreement with the idea of complex chromatin damage, which is frequently associated with carcinogenesis.
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Vol. 195 • No. 6