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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 461038, 7 pages
Research Article

Genetic Background Modulates lncRNA-Coordinated Tissue Response to Low Dose Ionizing Radiation

Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road MS977, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

Received 30 October 2014; Revised 4 February 2015; Accepted 4 February 2015

Academic Editor: Elena Pasyukova

Copyright © 2015 Jonathan Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are emerging as key regulators of diverse cell functions and processes. However, the relevance of lncRNAs in the cell and tissue response to ionizing radiation has not yet been characterized. Here we used microarray profiling to determine lncRNA and mRNA expression in mammary glands of BALB/c and SPRET/EiJ mice after low-dose ionizing radiation (LDIR) exposure. We found that unirradiated mammary tissues of these strains differed significantly in baseline expressions of 290 lncRNAs. LDIR exposure (10 cGy) induced a significant change in the expression of many lncRNAs. The vast majority of lncRNAs identified to be differentially expressed after LDIR in either BALB/c or SPRET/EiJ had a significantly correlated expression pattern with at least one LDIR responsive mRNA. Functional analysis revealed that the response to LDIR in BALB/c mice is highly dynamic with enrichment for genes involved in tissue injury, inflammatory responses, and mammary gland development at 2, 4, and 8 weeks after LDIR, respectively. Our study demonstrates that genetic background strongly influences the expression of lncRNAs and their response to radiation and that lncRNAs may coordinate the tissue response to LDIR exposure via regulation of coding mRNAs.