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DNA damage response and apoptosis

Domenii publicaţii > Biologie + Tipuri publicaţii > Articol în revistã ştiinţificã

Autori: Plesca D, Mazumder S, Almasan A.

Editorial: Methods in Enzymolology, 446, p.107-22, 2008.


A number of methods have been developed to examine the morphologic, biochemical, and molecular changes that happen during the DNA damage response that may ultimately lead to death of cells through various mechanisms that include apoptosis. When cells are exposed to ionizing radiation or chemical DNA-damaging agents, double-stranded DNA breaks (DSB) are generated that rapidly result in the phosphorylation of histone variant H2AX. Because phosphorylation of H2AX at Ser 139 correlates well with each DSB, phospho-H2AX is a sensitive marker to used to examine the DNA damage and its repair. Apoptotic cells are characterized on the basis of their reduced DNA content and morphologic changes, including nuclear condensation, which can be detected by flow cytometry (sub-G1 DNA content), trypan blue, or Hoechst staining. The appearance of phosphatidylserine on the plasma membrane with annexin V-fluorochrome conjugates indicates the changes in plasma membrane composition and function. By combining it with propidium iodide staining, this method can also be used to distinguish early versus late apoptotic or necrotic events. The activation of caspases is another well-known biochemical marker of apoptosis. Finally, the Bcl-2 family of proteins and the mitochondria that play a critical role in DNA damage-induced apoptosis can be examined by translocation of Bax and cytochrome c in and out of mitochondria. In this chapter, we discuss the most commonly used techniques used in our laboratory for determining the DNA damage response leading to apoptosis.

Cuvinte cheie: DNA damage, apoptosis, methods