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DNA double-strand breaks in cancer cells as a function of proton linear energy transfer and its variation in time

Abstract : Purpose: The complex relationship between linear energy transfer (LET) and cellular response to radiation is not yet fully elucidated. To better characterize DNA damage after irradiations with therapeutic protons, we monitored formation and disappearance of DNA double strand breaks (DNA DSB) as a function of LET and time. Comparisons with conventional γ-rays and high LET carbon ions were also performed. Materials and methods: In the present work we performed immunofluorescence-based assay to determine the amount of DNA DSB induced by different LET values along the 62 MeV therapeutic proton Spread out Bragg peak (SOBP) in three cancer cell lines, i.e., HTB140 melanoma, MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma and HTB177 non-small lung cancer cells. Time dependence of foci formation was followed as well. To determine irradiation positions, corresponding to the desired LET values, numerical simulations were carried out using Geant4 toolkit. We compared γ-H2AX foci persistence after irradiations with protons to that of γ-rays and carbon ions. Results: With the rise of LET values along the therapeutic proton SOBP, the increase of γ-H2AX foci number is detected in the three cell lines up to the distal end of the SOBP, while there is a decrease on its distal fall-off part. With the prolonged incubation time the number of foci gradually drops tending to attain the residual level. For the maximum number of DNA DSB irradiation with protons attain higher level than that of γ-rays. Carbon ions produce more DNA DSB than protons but not substantially. The number of residual foci produced by γ-rays is significantly lower than that of protons and particularly carbon ions. Carbon ions do not produce considerably higher number of foci than protons, as it could be expected due to their physical properties. Conclusions: In situ visualization of γ-H2AX foci reveal creation of more lesions in the three cell lines by clinically relevant proton SOBP than γ-rays. The lack of significant differences in the number of γ-H2AX foci between the proton and carbon ion-irradiated samples suggests an increased complexity of DNA lesions and slower repair kinetics after carbon ions compared to protons. For all three irradiation types, there is no major difference between the three cell lines shortly after irradiations, while later on, the formation of residual foci starts to express the inherent nature of tested cells, therefore increasing discrepancy between them.
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Submitted on : Thursday, August 26, 2021 - 4:33:05 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 3:04:53 PM

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Otilija Keta, Vladana Petković, Pablo Cirrone, Giada Petringa, Giacomo Cuttone, et al.. DNA double-strand breaks in cancer cells as a function of proton linear energy transfer and its variation in time. Int.J.Radiat.Biol., 2021, 97 (9), pp.1229-1240. ⟨10.1080/09553002.2021.1948140⟩. ⟨hal-03283898⟩

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