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PURPOSE: To investigate the role of kinetics in the processing of DNA double strand breaks (DSB), and the formation of simple chromosome exchange aberrations following X-ray exposures to mammalian cells based on an enzymatic approach. METHODS: Using computer simulations based on a biochemical approach, rate-equations that describe the processing of DSB through the formation of a DNA-enzyme complex were formulated. A second model that allows for competition between two processing pathways was also formulated. The formation of simple exchange aberrations was modelled as misrepair during the recombination of single DSB with undamaged DNA. Non-linear coupled differential equations corresponding to biochemical pathways were solved numerically by fitting to experimental data. RESULTS: When mediated by a DSB repair enzyme complex, the processing of single DSB showed a complex behaviour that gives the appearance of fast and slow components of rejoining. This is due to the time-delay caused by the action time of enzymes in biomolecular reactions. It is shown that the kinetic- and dose-responses of simple chromosome exchange aberrations are well described by a recombination model of DSB interacting with undamaged DNA when aberration formation increases with linear dose-dependence. Competition between two or more recombination processes is shown to lead to the formation of simple exchange aberrations with a dose-dependence similar to that of a linear quadratic model. CONCLUSIONS: Using a minimal number of assumptions, the kinetics and dose response observed experimentally for DSB rejoining and the formation of simple chromosome exchange aberrations are shown to be consistent with kinetic models based on enzymatic reaction approaches. A non-linear dose response for simple exchange aberrations is possible in a model of recombination of DNA containing a DSB with undamaged DNA when two or more pathways compete for DSB repair.


Journal article


Int J Radiat Biol

Publication Date





1463 - 1474


Animals, Chromosome Aberrations, Computer Simulation, DNA, DNA Damage, DNA Repair, Humans, Kinetics, Models, Biological, Nonlinear Dynamics, Recombination, Genetic