Radiation Induced Cytoplasmic Signaling

Frank D. Böhmer, Carsten Weiss, Peter Herrlich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter discusses the cellular responses brought about by the damaging effects of radiation. Radiation induces active processes in cells. Apoptosis and the activation of inflammatory cells require cellular signaling and even new protein synthesis. Radiation affects a plethora of cellular constituents. Radiation results in damage and inactivation of target molecules. To cope with protein damage, cells possess recognition systems for damaged or non-physiological molecules that trigger signaling events, exemplified by the unfolded protein response and the system of pattern recognition receptors. The best example of radiation induced damage recognition and signaling has been elaborated for DNA lesions. DNA damage triggers the formation of protein complexes that mediate the activation of protein kinase cascades. UV causes purine and pyrimidine crosslinks that may also occur in mRNA molecules and form blocks for ribosomes. Most effects of UV radiation on cytoplasmic signaling are mediated by the radiation induced reactive oxygen intermediates (ROIs). The ROIs create a pro-oxidant state that affects redox sensitive molecules. Proteins consume most of the ROIs generated inside the cells, resulting in protein modification. These modifications are reversible and thereby potentially suitable for signal transduction. There are numerous cysteine and methionine containing signal transducing proteins whose oxidation or reduction has been implicated in cellular signaling. PTPs are important components of signal regulation. Their inactivation by irradiation is highly relevant for cellular signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Cell Signaling, Second Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780123741455
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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