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Nat Rev Cancer. 2001 Oct;1(1):22-33.

How nucleotide excision repair protects against cancer.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75390-9072, USA.


Eukaryotic cells can repair many types of DNA damage. Among the known DNA repair processes in humans, one type--nucleotide excision repair (NER)--specifically protects against mutations caused indirectly by environmental carcinogens. Humans with a hereditary defect in NER suffer from xeroderma pigmentosum and have a marked predisposition to skin cancer caused by sunlight exposure. How does NER protect against skin cancer and possibly other types of environmentally induced cancer in humans?

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