Enzyme corrects more than one million faults in DNA replication

Scientists from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM) at the University of Edinburgh have discovered an enzyme that corrects the most common mistake in mammalian DNA.

Researchers discover new mechanism of DNA repair

The DNA molecule is chemically unstable giving rise to DNA lesions of different nature. That is why DNA damage detection, signaling and repair, collectively known as the DNA damage response, are needed.

Clues from a Somalian cavefish about modern mammals' dark past

After millions of years living in constant darkness, a species of blind cavefish found only in Somalia has lost an ancient system of DNA repair. That DNA repair system, found in organisms including bacteria, fungi, plants, ...

Scientists tie DNA repair to key cell signaling network

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have found a surprising connection between a key DNA-repair process and a cellular signaling network linked to aging, heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions. ...

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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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