DNA double-strand breaks are among the most deleterious lesions induced by ionising radiation. A range of inter-connected cellular response mechanisms has evolved to enable their efficient repair and thus protect the cell from the harmful consequences of un- or mis-repaired breaks which may include early effects such as cell killing and associated acute toxicities and late effects such as cancer. A number of studies suggest that the induction and repair of double-strand breaks may not always occur linearly with ionising radiation dose. Here we have aimed to identify and discuss some of the biological and methodological factors that can potentially modify the shape of the dose response curve obtained for these endpoints using the most common assays for double-strand breaks, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and microscopic scoring of radiation-induced foci.
- DNA double-strand break
- Dose response
- Ionising radiation
- Low dose
- Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis