γ-H2AX as protein biomarker for radiation exposure

Kai Rothkamm*, Simon Horn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

169 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For large scale exposures of the human population to ionising radiation, there is a need for cost-effective high throughput assessment of radiation exposure levels from biological samples to allow triage decisions to be made. Here we discuss the usefulness of the DNA damage marker γ-H2AX for this purpose. Foci of γ-H2AX form in response to radiation-induced DNA doublestrand breaks and can be quantified by immunofluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry. Several studies have analysed this marker in patients' blood samples to determine radiation exposures during various diagnostic or therapeutic radiation treatments. Such planned exposures involve only a moderate number of samples which can be obtained at a prearranged time following exposure. In contrast, application of this method as a triage tool in large scale radiological emergencies demands high throughput sample processing and analysis. The rapid kinetics of γ-H2AX induction and loss presents a major challenge to its successful application as a triage tool. These and other as yet unresolved questions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalAnnali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanita
Volume45
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • γ-h2ax
  • Biological dosimetry
  • Double-stranded dna break
  • Radiation accident
  • Triage

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'γ-H2AX as protein biomarker for radiation exposure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this