Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Genome Biology and BioMed Central.

Open Badges Research news

Radiation resistance

Jonathan B Weitzman

Genome Biology 2001, 2:spotlight-20011122-01  doi:10.1186/gb-spotlight-20011122-01

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published:22 November 2001

© 2001 BioMed Central Ltd

Research news

Cells must be able to recognize and repair DNA damage if they are to tolerate the effects of radiation. Much of our understanding of mammalian repair mechanisms, and their involvement in cancer, has come from studying yeast. In the Advanced Online Publication issue of Nature Genetics, Craig Bennett and colleagues from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in North Carolina describe a genome-wide screen to isolate genes involved in ionizing-radiation resistance in yeast (DOI:10.1038/ng778). They screened a set of diploid Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains, with deletions in non-essential genes, for sensitivity to γ-irradiation. Analysis of 3,670 mutants identified 107 new genes that affect the ionizing-radiation survival response. These encode proteins involved in chromatin remodelling or segregation, transcription, protein degradation, cytokinesis, or activities of the Golgi or mitochondria. Many of these are also involved in resistance to other DNA-damaging agents, such as ultraviolet irradiation or genotoxic drugs. Several of the genes identified are involved in recombination and cell-cycle checkpoints, which can prevent cell division until damaged DNA is repaired. Many of the genes have human homologues, emphasizing the power of yeast-based screens to identify cancer-related genes involved in resistance to irradiation and anti-cancer drugs.


  1. Tying up loose ends: nonhomologous end-joining in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Abstract | Publisher Full Text OpenURL

  2. [] webcite

    Nature Genetics

  3. [] webcite

    National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

  4. [] webcite

    Saccharomyces Genome Deletion Project