Cell death, radiation and oxidation 7 September 2004
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Eleni Papadopulos-Eleopulos,
Department of Medical Physics, Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia, 6001,
Valendar F Turner, John Papadimitriou, Barry Page, David Causer, Helman Alfonso, Sam Mhlongo, Todd Miller, Christian Fiala

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Re: Cell death, radiation and oxidation

Cell death, radiation and oxidation

In his rapid response: "Re: Cell death and oxidation", 1 September, Nicholas Bennett wrote: "According to the Perth Group:

"Not all cell deaths are caused by UV irradiation. However, UV radiation cell death, like apoptosis, is the result of oxidation."

How strange – I was under the impression that the formation of thymidine dimers, C to U transitions and double-stranded DNA breaks (among other mutations) had something to do with things…."

The fact is that radiation induced DNA damage (and repair) as well as cell death is determined by the cellular redox. And in particular the concentration of sulphydryl groups. "…the relevant moiety is a small fraction of the PSH [protein SHs] which is critically involved in the repair process following radiation damage. However, until this fraction is identified unequivocably the issue must remain unresolved, but if and when it is, we will have made a major step forward in the identification of repair processes in cells following ionisation radiation damage".1 The small fraction of the protein SH groups "critically involved" in radiation induced cell death was identified by one of us (EPE) as the SHs of the acid soluble proteins.2


1. Sinclair W. Mammalian cell sensitisation repair and the cell cycle. In: Nygaard O, Adler H, WK S, editors. Radiation Research: Academic Press, 1975:742-749.

2. Papadopulos-Eleopulos E. A Mitotic Theory. J Theor Biol 1982;96:741-758.

Competing interests: None declared