Intragenic controls utilizing radiation-induced alternative transcript regions improves gene expression biodosimetry

Helen Barbara Forrester, Carl Norman Sprung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Ionizing-radiation exposure can be life threatening if given to the whole body. In addition, whole body radiation exposure can affect large numbers of people such as after a nuclear reactor accident, a nuclear explosion or a radiological terrorist attack. In these cases, an accurate biodosimeter is essential for triage management. One of the problems for biodosimetry in general is the interindividual variation before and after exposure, which can make it challenging to assign an accurate dose. To begin to address this challenge, lymphocyte cell lines were exposed to 0, 1, 2 and 5 Gy ionizing radiation from a (1)(3)(7)Cs source at a dose rate of 0.6 Gy/min. Alternative transcripts with regions showing large differential responses to ionizing radiation were determined from exon array data. Gene expression analysis was then performed on isolated mRNA using qRT-PCR with normalization to intergenic (PGK1, GAPDH) and novel intragenic regions for candidate radiation-responsive genes, PPM1D and MDM2. Our studies show that the use of a cis-associated expression reference improved the potential dose prediction approximately 2.3-8.3 fold and provided an advantage for dose prediction compared to distantly or trans-located control ionizing radiation nonresponsive genes. This approach also provides an alternative gene expression normalization method to potentially reduce interindividual variations when untreated basal gene expression levels are unavailable. Using associated noninduced regions of ionizing radiation-induced genes provides a way to estimate basal gene expression in the irradiated sample. This strategy can be utilized as a biodosimeter on its own or to enhance other gene expression candidates for biodosimetry. This normalization strategy may also be generally applicable for other quantitative PCR strategies where normalization is required for a particular response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314 - 323
Number of pages10
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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