Interphase chromosome positioning affects the spectrum of radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations

Jan J.W.A. Boei, Janna Fomina, Firouz Darroudi, Nico J.D. Nagelkerke, Leon H.F. Mullenders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


In interphase, chromosomes occupy defined nuclear volumes known as chromosome territories. To probe the biological consequences of the described nonrandom spatial positioning of chromosome territories in human lymphocytes, we performed an extensive FISH-based analysis of ionizing radiation-induced interchanges involving chromosomes 1, 4, 18 and 19. Since the probability of exchange formation depends strongly on the spatial distance between the damage sites in the genome, a preferential formation of exchanges between proximally positioned chromosomes is expected. Here we show that the spectrum of interchanges deviates significantly from one expected based on random chromosome positioning. Moreover, the observed exchange interactions between specific chromosome pairs as well as the interactions between homologous chromosomes are consistent with the proposed gene density-related radial distribution of chromosome territories. The differences between expected and observed exchange frequencies are more pronounced after exposure to densely ionizing neutrons than after exposure to sparsely ionizing X rays. These experiments demonstrate that the spatial positioning of interphase chromosomes affects the spectrum of chromosome rearrangements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalRadiation Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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