King's College London

Research portal

Validation of the plasmid study to relate DNA damaging effects of radionuclides to those from external beam radiotherapy.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalNuclear Medicine and Biology
Accepted/In press10 Jun 2021


  • From Bq to Gy pre-printdocx

    From_Bq_to_Gy_pre_printdocx.docx, 5.05 MB, application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document

    Uploaded date:10 Jun 2021

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    Licence:CC BY

King's Authors


The biological consequences of absorbed radiation doses are ill-defined for radiopharmaceuticals, unlike for external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). A reliable assay that assesses the biological consequences of any radionuclide is much needed. Here, we evaluated the cell-free plasmid DNA assay to determine the relative biological effects of radionuclides such as Auger electron-emitting [67Ga]GaCl3 or [111In]InCl3 compared to EBRT.

Supercoiled pBR322 plasmid DNA (1.25 or 5 ng/µL) was incubated with 0.5 or 1 MBq [67Ga]GaCl3 or [111In]InCl3 for up to 73 hours or was exposed to EBRT (137Cs; 5 Gy/min; 0 - 40 Gy). The induction of relaxed and linear plasmid DNA, representing single and double strand breaks, respectively, was assessed by gel electrophoresis. Chelated forms of 67Ga were also investigated using DOTA and THP. Topological conversion rates for supercoiled-to-relaxed (k_sr^x) or relaxed-to-linear (k_rl^x) DNA were obtained by fitting a kinetic model.

DNA damage increased both with EBRT dose and incubation time for [67Ga]GaCl3 and [111In]InCl3. Damage caused by [67Ga]GaCl3 decreased when chelated. [67Ga]GaCl3 proved more damaging than [111In]InCl3; 1.25 ng/µL DNA incubated with 0.5 MBq [67Ga]GaCl3 for 2 hours led to a 70% decrease of intact plasmid DNA as opposed to only a 19% decrease for [111In]InCl3. For both EBRT and radionuclides, conversion rates were slower for 5 ng/µL than 1.25 ng/µL plasmid DNA. DNA damage caused by 1 Gy EBRT was the equivalent to damage caused by 0.5 MBq unchelated [67Ga]GaCl3 and [111In]InCl3 after 2.05  0.36 and 9.3  0.77 hours of incubation, respectively.

This work has highlighted the power of the plasmid DNA assay for a rapid determination of the relative biological effects of radionuclides compared to external beam radiotherapy. It is envisaged this approach will enable the systematic assessment of imaging and therapeutic radionuclides, including Auger electron-emitters, to further inform radiopharmaceutical design and application.

Download statistics

No data available

View graph of relations

© 2020 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454