Background: The general population is constantly exposed to low levels of radiation through natural, occupational or medical irradiation. Even if the biological effects of low-level radiation have been intensely debated and investigated, the molecular mechanisms underlying the cellular response to low doses remain largely unknown. Results: The present study investigated the role of GATA3 protein in the control of the cellular and molecular response of human keratinocytes exposed to a 1 cGy dose of X-rays. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed GATA3 to be able to bind the promoter of 4 genes responding to a 1 cGy exposure. To go further into the role of GATA3 after ionizing radiation exposure, we studied the cellular and molecular consequences of radiation in GATA3 knock-down cells. Knock-down was obtained by lentiviral-mediated expression of an shRNA targeting the GATA3 transcript in differentiated keratinocytes. First, radiosensitivity was assessed: the toxicity, in terms of immediate survival (with XTT test), associated with 1 cGy radiation was found to be increased in GATA3 knock-down cells. The impact of GATA3 knock-down on the transcriptome of X-ray irradiated cells was also investigated, using oligonucleotide microarrays to assess changes between 3 h and 72 h post-irradiation in normal vs GATA3 knock-down backgrounds; transcriptome response was found to be completely altered in GATA3 knock-down cells, with a strong induction/repression peak 48 h after irradiation. Functional annotation revealed enrichment in genes known to be involved in chaperone activity, TGFβ signalling and stress response. Conclusion: Taken together, these data indicate that GATA3 is an important regulator of the cellular and molecular response of epidermal cells to very low doses of radiation. © 2009 Bonin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Bonin, F., Molina, M., Malet, C., Ginestet, C., Berthier-Vergnes, O., Martin, M. T., & Lamartine, J. (2009). GATA3 is a master regulator of the transcriptional response to low-dose ionizing radiation in human keratinocytes. BMC Genomics, 10, 417. https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2164-10-417