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Received September 22, 2009; Revision received November 5, 2009
Using quantitative real-time PCR, the levels of mitochondrial DNA transcripts in murine tissues (skeletal muscle, liver, and brain) were determined at different time points (1, 5, and 24 h) following X-ray irradiation at the dose of 10 Gy. One hour after irradiation the levels of mitochondrial transcripts ND2, ND4, CYTB, and ATP6 dramatically decreased by 85-95% and remained at the same minimum level for 24 h in all analyzed tissues. This decrease was not associated with depletion of mtDNA as a matrix for transcription, since mtDNA copy number increased after irradiation in all tissues. The decrease in mitochondrial transcription in liver, brain, and skeletal muscle did not generally result from the damage of cell transcription apparatus, because the transcription level of nuclear housekeeping gene BETA-ACTIN remained virtually unchanged after irradiation. The mitochondrial gene transcription decreased after irradiation in the same manner as that of the nuclear gene TFB2M encoding mitochondrial transcription factor, whose regulatory role under normal conditions is well understood.
KEY WORDS: mtDNA, transcription, X-ray irradiation, real time PCR, murine tissue