Influence of Polymorphisms of DNA Repair and GST Genes on Genotoxic Damage and Mutagen Sensitivity in Workers Occupationally Exposed to Very Low Doses of Ionizing Radiation
The study investigated the influence of genetic polymorphisms of the enzymes for DNA repair and detoxification of reactive intermediates on spontaneous and bleomycin-induced (BLM) genotoxic damage in 43 workers exposed to very low doses of ionizing radiation (IR) (mean cumulative dose 5.31 mSv) and 43 subjects with no occupational exposure to IR (controls). In all the subjects examined, the frequency of chromosome aberrations (CAs) and micronuclei (MN), both spontaneous and BLM-induced, the
... LM-induced, the Comet assay parameters (tail intensity), the genotypic variants of the DNA repair enzymes XRCC1 (Arg194Trp, Arg280His, Arg399Gln), XRCC3 (Thr241Met), XPD (Lys751Gln), and of the detoxification enzymes GSTM1 and GSTT1 (null genotype) and BLMH (A1450G) were determined. Among the biomarkers considered, only the frequency of total CAs (p < 0.05), and in particular of chromosome breaks (p < 0.01), was found to be significantly higher in the exposed workers than the controls. The frequency of spontaneous MN was higher in subjects with at least one allelic variant in XRCC1 than in carriers of the wild-type, but again only in exposed workers (p = 0.046). Linear regression analysis showed a positive dependency of the frequency of spontaneous chromosome breaks on occupational exposure, and a dependency of the frequency of BLM-induced MN negative on occupational exposure and positive on alcohol consumption and the null GSTM1 genotype. In conclusion, the frequency of chromosome breaks seems to be a useful cytogenetic biomarker for exposure to very low doses of IR, while only the combined effect of different gene variants or genetic, occupational, and lifestyle habits factors seems to be able to modulate the genotoxic effect of very low doses of IR.