University of Oulu

Jernfors T, Kesäniemi J, Lavrinienko A, Mappes T, Milinevsky G, Møller AP, Mousseau TA, Tukalenko E and Watts PC (2018) Transcriptional Upregulation of DNA Damage Response Genes in Bank Voles (Myodes glareolus) Inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Front. Environ. Sci. 5:95. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2017.00095

Transcriptional upregulation of DNA damage response genes in bank voles (Myodes glareolus) inhabiting the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

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Author: Jernfors, Toni1; Kesäniemi, Jenni1; Lavrinienko, Anton1;
Organizations: 1Ecology and Genetics, University of Oulu
2Department of Biological and Environmental Science, University of Jyväskylä
3Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv
4Ecologie Systématique Evolution, Université Paris-Sud, CNRS, AgroParisTech, Université Paris-Saclay
5Department of Biological Sciences, University of South Carolina
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.7 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Frontiers Media, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-16


Exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) from radionuclides released into the environment can damage DNA. An expected response to exposure to environmental radionuclides, therefore, is initiation of DNA damage response (DDR) pathways. Increased DNA damage is a characteristic of many organisms exposed to radionuclides but expression of DDR genes of wildlife inhabiting an area contaminated by radionuclides is poorly understood. We quantified expression of five central DDR genes Atm, Mre11, p53, Brca1, and p21 in the livers of the bank vole Myodes glareolus that inhabited areas within the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ) that differed in levels of ambient radioactivity, and also from control areas outside the CEZ (i.e., sites with no detectable environmental radionuclides) in Ukraine. Expression of these DDR genes did not significantly differ between male and female bank voles, nor among sites within the CEZ. We found a near two-fold upregulation in the DDR initiators Mre11 and Atm in animals collected from the CEZ compared with samples from control sites. As Atm is an important regulator of oxidative stress, our data suggest that antioxidant activity may be a key component of the defense against exposure to environmental radioactivity.

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Series: Frontiers in environmental science
ISSN: 2296-665X
ISSN-E: 2296-665X
ISSN-L: 2296-665X
Volume: 5
Article number: 95
DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2017.00095
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
Funding: The project was funded by Academy of Finland grants awarded to PW (project number 287153) and to TM (project number 268670) and by Kuopio Naturalists' Society (to TJ). Funding to TAM and AM included grants from the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust and the American Council of Learned Societies.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 287153
Detailed Information: 287153 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
268670 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: Supplementary Material:
Copyright information: © 2018 Jernfors, Kesäniemi, Lavrinienko, Mappes, Milinevsky, Møller, Mousseau, Tukalenko and Watts. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.