Letter | Published:

Effect of Rifampicin on the Radiation Sensitivity of Several Strains of Escherichia coli

Nature volume 222, pages 11731174 (21 June 1969) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE study of the action of ionizing radiation on microorganisms is of interest as a model system for human cells. Actinomycin D (which binds to DNA and inhibits transcription) modifies the response of Chinese hamster cells to ionizing radiation1. It also increases the amount of radiation-induced DNA degradation in Bacillus subtilis2. Actinomycin D, however, does not enter Escherichia coli. But recently, rifampicin has been shown to bind to the DNA-directed RNA polymerase and also to stop transcription3. Because rifampicin readily enters E. coli, it is of interest to see whether it has a potentiating effect on the action of ionizing radiation. We chose to study the effect of radiation plus rifampicin on the process of DNA degradation in several strains, on the formation of colonies as seen by plating, and on the oxygen effect.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Biophysics, Pennsylvania State University.

    • ERNEST C. POLLARD
    •  & PATRICIA K. WELLER

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/2221173a0

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