New findings shed light on the repair of UV-induced DNA damage

An international research team has clarified the regulatory mechanism of the ubiquitin-proteasome system in recognizing and repairing DNA that has been damaged by ultraviolet (UV) light. The investigators at Kobe University ...

A newly discovered protein repairs DNA

Researchers from the University of Seville, in collaboration with colleagues from the Universities of Murcia and Marburg (Germany) have identified a new protein that makes it possible to repair DNA. The protein in question, ...

Histone degradation after DNA damage enhances repair

DNA damage can occur anywhere in the genome, but most DNA is wrapped around nucleosomes making it inaccessible to the repair machinery. Researchers from the Gasser group now show that DNA damage induces histone depletion, ...

RNA information transfer could be used in repairing DNA

Genomes are routinely subjected to DNA damage. But most cells have DNA repair systems that enforce genome stability and, ideally, prevent diseases like cancer. The trouble gets serious when these systems break down. When ...

Researchers create bioluminescent tag to detect DNA break repair

A new bioluminescent reporter that tracks DNA double stranded break (DSB) repair in cells has been developed by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Academia Sinica in Taiwan. The international team's ...

Probing DNA damage repair

Cells missing the protein HMCES are hypersensitive to DNA-damaging agents that cause a common type of DNA lesion—an "abasic" site. But the agents also generate other types of lesions associated with mutations and cell lethality, ...

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DNA repair

DNA repair refers to a collection of processes by which a cell identifies and corrects damage to the DNA molecules that encode its genome. In human cells, both normal metabolic activities and environmental factors such as UV light and Radiation can cause DNA damage, resulting in as many as 1 million individual molecular lesions per cell per day. Many of these lesions cause structural damage to the DNA molecule and can alter or eliminate the cell's ability to transcribe the gene that the affected DNA encodes. Other lesions induce potentially harmful mutations in the cell's genome, which affect the survival of its daughter cells after it undergoes mitosis. Consequently, the DNA repair process is constantly active as it responds to damage in the DNA structure.

The rate of DNA repair is dependent on many factors, including the cell type, the age of the cell, and the extracellular environment. A cell that has accumulated a large amount of DNA damage, or one that no longer effectively repairs damage incurred to its DNA, can enter one of three possible states:

The DNA repair ability of a cell is vital to the integrity of its genome and thus to its normal functioning and that of the organism. Many genes that were initially shown to influence lifespan have turned out to be involved in DNA damage repair and protection. Failure to correct molecular lesions in cells that form gametes can introduce mutations into the genomes of the offspring and thus influence the rate of evolution.

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