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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Jan-Feb;1799(1-2):80-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagrm.2009.10.007. Epub 2009 Dec 8.

HMGNs, DNA repair and cancer.

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  • 1Protein Section, Laboratory of Metabolism, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Building 37/ Room 3122, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


DNA lesions threaten the integrity of the genome and are a major factor in cancer formation and progression. Eukaryotic DNA is organized in nucleosome-based higher order structures, which form the chromatin fiber. In recent years, considerable knowledge has been gained on the importance of chromatin dynamics for the cellular response to DNA damage and for the ability to repair DNA lesions. High Mobility Group N1 (HMGN1) protein is an emerging factor that is important for chromatin alterations in response to DNA damage originated from both ultra violet light (UV) and ionizing irradiation (IR). HMGN1 is a member in the HMGN family of chromatin architectural proteins. HMGNs bind directly to nucleosomes and modulate the structure of the chromatin fiber in a highly dynamic manner. This review focuses mainly on the roles of HMGN1 in the cellular response pathways to different types of DNA lesions and in transcriptional regulation of cancer-related genes. In addition, emerging roles for HMGN5 in cancer progression and for HMGN2 as a potential tool in cancer therapy will be discussed.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

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