Background and purpose: Heavy ion beams are high linear energy transfer (LET) radiation characterized by a higher relative biologic effectiveness than low LET radiation. The aim of the current study was to determine the difference of gene expression between heavy ion beams and X-rays in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)-derived cells. Materials and methods: The OSCC cells were irradiated with accelerated carbon or neon ion irradiation or X-rays using three different doses. We sought to identify genes the expression of which is affected by carbon and neon ion irradiation using Affymetrix GeneChip analysis. The identified genes were analyzed using the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis Tool to investigate the functional network and gene ontology. Changes in mRNA expression in the genes were assessed by real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Results: The microarray analysis identified 84 genes that were modulated by carbon and neon ion irradiation at all doses in OSCC cells. Among the genes, three genes (TGFBR2, SMURF2, and BMP7) and two genes (CCND1 and E2F3), respectively, were found to be involved in the transforming growth factor β-signaling pathway and cell cycle:G1/S checkpoint regulation pathway. The qRT-PCR data from the five genes after heavy ion irradiation were consistent with the microarray data (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Our findings should serve as a basis for global characterization of radiation-regulated genes and pathways in heavy ion-irradiated OSCC.
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