53BP1, the vertebrate ortholog of the budding yeast Rad9 and fission yeast Crb2/Rhp9 checkpoint proteins, is recruited rapidly to sites of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). A tandem tudor domain in human 53BP1 that recognizes methylated residues in the histone core is necessary, but not sufficient, for efficient recruitment. By analysis of deletion mutants, we identify here additional elements in 53BP1 that facilitate recognition of DNA DSBs. The first element corresponds to an independently folding oligomerization domain. Replacement of this domain with heterologous tetramerization domains preserves the ability of 53BP1 to recognize DNA DSBs. A second element is only about 15 amino acids long and appears to be a C-terminal extension of the tudor domain, rather than an independently functioning domain. Recruitment of 53BP1 to sites of DNA DSBs is facilitated by histone H2AX phosphorylation and ubiquitination. However, none of the 53BP1 domains/elements important for recruitment are known to bind phosphopeptides or ubiquitin, suggesting that histone phosphorylation and ubiquitination regulate 53BP1 recruitment to sites of DNA DSBs indirectly.
Microcollimator for Micrometer-Wide Stripe Irradiation of Cells Using 20-30 keV X Rays. Radiat. Res. 172, 252-259 (2009). The exposure of subnuclear compartments of cells to ionizing radiation is currently not trivial. We describe here a collimator for micrometer-wide stripe irradiation designed to work with conventional high-voltage X-ray tubes and cells cultured on standard glass cover slips. The microcollimator was fabricated by high-precision silicon micromachining and consists of X-ray absorbing chips with grooves of highly controlled depths, between 0.5-10 microm, along their surfaces. These grooves form X-ray collimating slits when the chips are stacked against each other. The use of this device for radiation biology was examined by irradiating human cells with X rays having energies between 20-30 keV. After irradiation, p53 binding protein 1 (53BP1), a nuclear protein that is recruited at sites of DNA double-strand breaks, clustered in lines corresponding to the irradiated stripes.
DNA damage (caused by direct cellular exposure and bystander signaling) and the complex pathways involved in its repair are critical events underpinning cellular and tissue response following radiation exposures. There are limited data addressing the dynamics of DNA damage induction and repair in the skin particularly in areas not directly exposed. Here we investigate the mechanisms regulating DNA damage, repair, intracellular signalling and their impact on premature differentiation and development of inflammatory-like response in the irradiated and surrounding areas of a 3D organotypic skin model. Following localized low-LET irradiation (225 kVp X-rays), low levels of 53BP1 foci were observed in the 3D model (3.8±0.28 foci/Gy/cell) with foci persisting and increasing in size up to 48 h post irradiation. In contrast, in cell monolayers 14.2±0.6 foci/Gy/cell and biphasic repair kinetics with repair completed before 24 h was observed. These differences are linked to differences in cellular status with variable level of p21 driving apoptotic signalling in 2D and accelerated differentiation in both the directly irradiated and bystander areas of the 3D model. The signalling pathways utilized by irradiated keratinocytes to induce DNA damage in non-exposed areas of the skin involved the NF-κB transcription factor and its downstream target COX-2.