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Reproduction. 2001 Jan;121(1):31-9.

DNA repair mechanisms and gametogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology and Reproduction, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands. baarends@endov.fgg.eur.nl


In mammals, there is a complex and intriguing relationship between DNA repair and gametogenesis. DNA repair mechanisms are involved not only in the repair of different types of DNA damage in developing germline cells, but also take part in the meiotic recombination process. Furthermore, the DNA repair mechanisms should tolerate mutations occurring during gametogenesis, to a limited extent. In the present review, several gametogenic aspects of DNA mismatch repair, homologous recombination repair and postreplication repair are discussed. In addition, the role of DNA damage-induced cell cycle checkpoint control is considered briefly. It appears that many genes encoding proteins that take part in DNA repair mechanisms show enhanced or specialized expression during mammalian gametogenesis, and several gene knockout mouse models show male or female infertility. On the basis of such knowledge and models, future experiments may provide more information about the precise relationship between DNA repair, chromatin dynamics, and genomic stability versus instability during gametogenesis.

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