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Nature. 1993 Apr 22;362(6422):709-15.

Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA.

Author information

  • Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms, Hertfordshire, UK.

Abstract

Although DNA is the carrier of genetic information, it has limited chemical stability. Hydrolysis, oxidation and nonenzymatic methylation of DNA occur at significant rates in vivo, and are counteracted by specific DNA repair processes. The spontaneous decay of DNA is likely to be a major factor in mutagenesis, carcinogenesis and ageing, and also sets limits for the recovery of DNA fragments from fossils.

Comment in

  • DNA from ancient mammoth bones. [Nature. 1994]
  • Antediluvian DNA research. [Nature. 1994]
PMID:
8469282
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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