Effects of ionizing radiation on mitochondria

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Elsevier Inc.
The current concept of radiobiology posits that damage to the DNA in the cell nucleus is the primary cause for the detrimental effects of radiation. However, emerging experimental evidence suggests that this theoretical framework is insufficient for describing extranuclear radiation effects, particularly the response of the mitochondria, an important site of extranuclear, coding DNA. Here, we discuss experimental observations of the effects of ionizing radiation on the mitochondria at (1) the DNA and (2) functional levels. The roles of mitochondria in (3) oxidative stress and (4) late radiation effects are discussed. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of targets for ionizing radiation outside the cell nucleus. Available experimental data suggest that an increase in the tumoricidal efficacy of radiation therapy might be achievable by targeting mitochondria. Likewise, more specific protection of mitochondria and its coding DNA should reduce damage to healthy cells exposed to ionizing radiation. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.
Mitochondria, DNA, RNA, Animal cells, Superoxide dismutase, Phosphorylation, Electron transfer
Kam, W. W.-Y., & Banati, R. B. (2013). Effects of ionizing radiation on mitochondria. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 65, 607-619. doi:10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.07.024