Early responses of mammalian cells to ionizing radiation include the activation of a protein kinase C implicated in the regulation of gene expression, the stimulation of tyrosine kinase activities, and the enhancement of phosphatidylinositol turnover. In the present report we show that clinically relevant doses of γ-radiation (2 Gy) stimulate phosphatidylcholine hydrolysis in human squamous carcinoma cells. Radiation induced the accumulation of intracellular [3H]choline and the simultaneous increase in [3H]myristoyl-phosphatidic acid, followed by a small increase in the levels of [3H]myristoyl-diacylglycerol. Furthermore, in the presence of ethanol, γ-radiation stimulated the appearance of [32P]phosphatidylethanol, an indicator of phospholipase D transphosphatidylation activity. These data demonstrate for the first time that phospholipase D activation participates in signaling pathways in response to γ-radiation.

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Supported in part by NIH Grant CA 45408.

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