Gamma radiation inhibits the appearance of induced ornithine decarboxylase activity in chinese hamster cells

E. Ben-Hur, Y. M. Heimer, E. Riklis

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6 Scopus citations


Ornithine decarboxylase activity of Chinese hamster cells (ODC, EC can be induced in plateau phase by change of medium. Exposure of the cells to gamma radiation before induction reduces the amount of ODC activity induced. The dose-response curve is exponential with a D0 of 106 krad. Exposure of BUdR-substituted cells is more effective in reducing ODC induction at high doses, with a D0 of 38 krad. Cells can recover from the reduction incurred by 74 krad if enzyme induction is delayed for 2 hours after exposure. Treatment of the cells with psoralen-plus-light completely inhibits RNA synthesis without affecting protein synthesis (Heimer, Ben-Hur and Riklis 1977, 1978). Using this procedure it is shown that the effect of gamma radiation on inducible ODC activity is due not only to DNA damage by also involves a post-transcriptional effect. This conclusion is supported by employing a heat shock to inhibit protein synthesis prior to gamma-irradiation of log-phase cells. In such cells the increased activity of ODC upon transfer to 37°C is due primarily to enzyme synthesis using pre-existing RNA species during the first few hours. A low concentration of actinomycin D, which inhibits rRNA synthesis, applied during the recovery period, prevents the recovery of the cells' capacity for maximal ODC induction. This may indicate that, in order to recover, the cells have to repair damage to the ribosomes as well as to DNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-525
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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