Deficiency of Bloom's syndrome protein causes hypersensitivity of C. elegans to ionizing radiation but not to UV radiation, and induces p53-dependent physiological apoptosis

Yun Mi Kim, Insil Yang, Jiyeung Lee, Hyeon Sook Koo

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Caenorhabditis elegans him-6 mutants, which show a high incidence of males and partial embryonic lethality, are defective in the orthologue of human Bloom's syndrome protein (BLM). When strain him-6(e1104) containing a missense him-6 mutation was irradiated with γ-rays during germ cell development or embryogenesis, embryonic lethality was higher than in the wild type, suggesting a critical function of the wild type gene in mitotic and pachytene stage germ cells as well as in early embryos. Even in the absence of γ-irradiation, apoptosis was elevated in the germ cells of the him-6 strain and this increase was dependent on a functional p53 homologue (CEP-1), suggesting that spontaneous DNA damage accumulates due to him-6 deficiency. However, induction of germline apoptosis by ionizing radiation was not significantly affected by the deficiency, indicating that HIM-6 has no role in the induction of apoptosis by exogenous DNA damage. We conclude that the C. elegans BLM orthologue is involved in DNA repair in promeiotic cells undergoing homologous recombination, as well as in actively dividing germline and somatic cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-234
Number of pages7
JournalMolecules and cells
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Dec 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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