Ionizing radiation-induced micronucleus formation is mediated by reactive oxygen species that are produced in a manner dependent on mitochondria, Nox1,and JNK

Kyung Mi Choi, Chang Mo Kang, Eun Sook Cho, Seong Man Kang, Seung Bum Lee, Hong Duck Um

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Ionizing radiation (IR) is known to induce genotoxic damage to DNA, chromosomes, and the nucleus. However, the damage that IR causes to the nucleus has received much less attention. Given that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in IR-induced DNA breaks and chromosomal aberrations, this study examined the role of ROS in IR-induced damage to the nucleus. Human Jurkat T cells were irradiated with γ-rays at a dose of 2.5 Gy, which resulted in a dramatic increase in both the cellular ROS levels and the number of micronuclei. This latter event was attenuated when the IR-induced ROS were eliminated through the exogenous application of an antioxidant enzyme catalase. The ability of IR to induce the accumulation of ROS and micronucleus formation was also reduced either when the cells were irradiated in the presence of rotenone, a mitochondrial respiratory chain inhibitor, or when the cellular Nox1 levels were reduced by RNA interference. These results suggest that IR stimulates both the mitochondria and Nox1 to produce ROS, and that these ROS are involved in the IR-induced formation of micronuclei. IR also activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), which was reversed by catalase, rotenone, or Nox1 RNA interference. SP600125, a JNK-specific inhibitor, suppressed the IR-induced accumulation of ROS. This inhibitor consistently attenuated the IR-induced formation of micronuclei. Therefore, ROS and JNK appear to act in a positive mutual manner in IR-induced signaling processes. Overall, IR appears to induce the formation of micronuclei by inducing ROS through mitochondria, Nox1, and JNK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1183-1188
Number of pages6
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 May 1



  • C-Jun n-terminal kinase
  • Cell signaling
  • Genotoxic damage
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Micronucleus
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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