Altered G1 checkpoint control determines adaptive survival responses to ionizing radiation

David A. Boothman, Mark Meyers, Eric Odegaard, Meizhi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Adaptive survival responses (ASRs) are observed when cells become more resistant to a high dose of a cytotoxic agent after repeated low dose exposures to that agent or another genotoxic agent. Confluent (G0/G1) human normal (GM2936B, GM2937A, AG2603, IMR-90), cancer-prone (XPV2359), and neoplastic (U1-Mel, HEp-2, HTB-152) cells were primed with repeated low doses of X-rays (ranging from 0.05-10 cGy/day for 4 days), then challenged with a high dose (290-450 cGy) on day 5. U1-Mel and HEp-2 cells showed greater than 2-fold transient survival enhancement when primed with 1-10 cGy. ASRs in U1-Mel or HEp-2 cells were blocked by cycloheximide or actinomycin D. Increases in cyclins A and D1 mRNAs were noted in primed compared to unirradiated U1-Mel and HEp-2 cells; however, only cyclin A protein levels increased. Cyclin D1 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) protein levels were constitutively elevated in HEp-2 and U1-Mel cells, compared to the other human normal and neoplastic cells examined, and were not altered by low or high doses of radiation. Low dose primed U1-Mel cells entered S-phase 4-6 h faster than unprimed U1-Mel cells upon low-density replating. Similar responses in terms of survival recovery, transcript and protein induction, and altered cell cycle regulation were not observed in the other human normal, cancer-prone or neoplastic cells examined. We hypothesize that only certain human cells can adapt to ionizing radiation by progressing to a point later in G1 (the A point) where DNA repair processes and radioresistance can be induced. ASRs in human cells correlated well with constitutively elevated levels of PCNA and cyclin D1, as well as inducibility of cyclin A. We propose that a protein complex composed of cyclin D1, PCNA, and possibly cyclin A may play a role in cell cycle regulation and DNA repair, which determine ASRs in human cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-153
Number of pages11
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 4 1996


  • Cell cycle
  • Cyclin
  • Radioresistance
  • Regulation
  • X-ray-inducible transcript

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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