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Chromatin modifications in DNA repair.

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  • 1University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Department of Carcinogenesis, Science Park Research Division, Smithville, Texas 78957, USA.


A requirement of nuclear processes that use DNA as a substrate is the manipulation of chromatin in which the DNA is packaged. Chromatin modifications cause alterations of histones and DNA, and result in a permissive chromatin environment for these nuclear processes. Recent advances in the fields of DNA repair and chromatin reveal that both histone modifications and chromatin-remodeling complexes are essential for the repair of DNA lesions, such as DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). In particular, chromatin-modifying complexes, such as the INO80, SWR1, RSC, and SWI/SNF ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes and the NuA4 and Tip60 histone acetyltransferase complexes are implicated in DNA repair. The activity of these chromatin-modifying complexes influences the efficiency of the DNA repair process, which ultimately affects genome integrity and carcinogenesis. Thus, the process of DNA repair requires the cooperative activities of evolutionarily conserved chromatin-modifying complexes that facilitate the dynamic chromatin alterations needed during repair of DNA damage.

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