Genetic and epigenetic features in radiation sensitivity

Part I: Cell signalling in radiation response
  • Michel H. Bourguignon
  • Pablo A. Gisone
  • Maria R. Perez
  • Severino Michelin
  • Diana Dubner
  • Marina Di Giorgio
  • Edgardo D. Carosella
Review Article


Recent progress especially in the field of gene identification and expression has attracted greater attention to genetic and epigenetic susceptibility to cancer, possibly enhanced by ionising radiation. It has been proposed that the occurrence and severity of the adverse reactions to radiation therapy are also influenced by such genetic susceptibility. This issue is especially important for radiation therapists since hypersensitive patients may suffer from adverse effects in normal tissues following standard radiation therapy, while normally sensitive patients could receive higher doses of radiation offering a better likelihood of cure for malignant tumours. This paper, the first of two parts, reviews the main mechanisms involved in cell response to ionising radiation. DNA repair machinery and cell signalling pathways are considered and their role in radiosensitivity is analysed. The implication of non-targeted and delayed effects in radiosensitivity is also discussed.


Ionising radiation Cell signalling DNA repair Radiosensitivity 



The authors are grateful to Alicia Carregado for her assistance in conducting the literature search.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michel H. Bourguignon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pablo A. Gisone
    • 3
  • Maria R. Perez
    • 3
  • Severino Michelin
    • 3
  • Diana Dubner
    • 3
  • Marina Di Giorgio
    • 3
  • Edgardo D. Carosella
    • 2
  1. 1.Direction Générale de la Sûreté Nucléaire et de la Radioprotection (DGSNR)Paris Cedex 12France
  2. 2.Service de Recherches en Hémato-ImmunologieCEA-DSV-DRM HôpitalSaint Louis, ParisFrance
  3. 3.Laboratorio de RadiopatologíaAutoridad Regulatoria NuclearBuenos AiresArgentina

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