There is little known about the regulation of gene expression by ionizing radiation exposure. The present studies demonstrate transcriptional activation of a mammalian gene, the c-jun protooncogene, by x-rays. The c-jun gene encodes a component of the AP-1 protein complex and is important in early signaling events involved in various cellular functions. The increase in c-jun transcripts by ionizing radiation was time- and dose-dependent as determined by Northern blot analysis. Transcriptional run-on analysis demonstrated that ionizing radiation stimulates the rate of c-jun gene transcription. Furthermore, the half-life of c-jun RNA was prolonged in the absence of protein synthesis. These findings indicate that the increase in c-jun RNA observed after irradiation is regulated by transcriptional and posttranscriptional mechanisms. Moreover, the induction of c-jun by ionizing radiation was associated with an inverse dose rate effect in that decreasing the dose rate resulted in increased c-jun expression. The present results similarly demonstrate that ionizing radiation increases levels of c-fos transcripts as well as that of jun-B, another member of the jun family. Taken together, these results suggest a role for induction of early response genes in the pathophysiologic effects of ionizing radiation. (.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5663-5666
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1990


  • AP-1
  • C-fos
  • Dose rate
  • Jun-B
  • Transcription factors


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