Gene expression as a biomarker for human radiation exposure.

Human cell : official journal of Human Cell Research Society

PubMedID: 23446844

Omaruddin RA, Roland TA, Wallace HJ, Chaudhry MA. Gene expression as a biomarker for human radiation exposure. Hum Cell. 2013;26(1):2-7.
Accidental exposure to ionizing radiation can be unforeseen, rapid, and devastating. The detonation of a radiological device leading to such an exposure can be detrimental to the exposed population. The radiation-induced damage may manifest as acute effects that can be detected clinically or may be more subtle effects that can lead to long-term radiation-induced abnormalities. Accurate identification of the individuals exposed to radiation is challenging. The availability of a rapid and effective screening test that could be used as a biomarker of radiation exposure detection is mandatory. We tested the suitability of alterations in gene expression to serve as a biomarker of human radiation exposure. To develop a useful gene expression biomonitor, however, gene expression changes occurring in response to irradiation in vivo must be measured directly. Patients undergoing radiation therapy provide a suitable test population for this purpose. We examined the expression of CC3, MADH7, and SEC PRO in blood samples of these patients before and after radiotherapy to measure the in vivo response. The gene expression after ionizing radiation treatment varied among different patients, suggesting the complexity of the response. The expression of the SEC PRO gene was repressed in most of the patients. The MADH7 gene was found to be upregulated in most of the subjects and could serve as a molecular marker of radiation exposure.