The role of Bcl-2 and bax protein expression on individual radiosensitivity
Apoptosis is the dominant mechanism of cell death induced by radiation and is the key mechanism used to remove cells with significant DNA damage. Previous research investigated the feasibility of using the Leukocyte Apoptosis Assay (LAA) to determine individual sensitivity to radiation and it was found that an apoptotic response could be loosely linked to age, race and gender. Apoptosis is controlled by the Bcl-2 proteins and therefore the balance between Bax and Bcl-2 protein expression is important. With this background it would be relevant to know why certain individuals are more sensitive to radiation than others. The objectives of this study was to evaluate the effect of ionising radiation on apoptotic proteins, Bcl-2 (anti-apoptotic) and Bax (pro-apoptotic) expression and to explore if there is a relationship between radiation induced apoptosis (RIA) and Bcl-2 or Bax expression.