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Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002.

  • By agreement with the publisher, this book is accessible by the search feature, but cannot be browsed.
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Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.

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Chapter 5DNA Replication, Repair, and Recombination

The ability of cells to maintain a high degree of order in a chaotic universe depends upon the accurate duplication of vast quantities of genetic information carried in chemical form as DNA. This process, called DNA replication, must occur before a cell can produce two genetically identical daughter cells. Maintaining order also requires the continued surveillance and repair of this genetic information because DNA inside cells is repeatedly damaged by chemicals and radiation from the environment, as well as by thermal accidents and reactive molecules. In this chapter we describe the protein machines that replicate and repair the cell's DNA. These machines catalyze some of the most rapid and accurate processes that take place within cells, and their mechanisms clearly demonstrate the elegance and efficiency of cellular chemistry.

While the short-term survival of a cell can depend on preventing changes in its DNA, the long-term survival of a species requires that DNA sequences be changeable over many generations. Despite the great efforts that cells make to protect their DNA, occasional changes in DNA sequences do occur. Over time, these changes provide the genetic variation upon which selection pressures act during the evolution of organisms.

We begin this chapter with a brief discussion of the changes that occur in DNA as it is passed down from generation to generation. Next, we discuss the cellular mechanisms—DNA replication and DNA repair—that are responsible for keeping these changes to a minimum. Finally, we consider some of the most intriguing ways in which DNA sequences are altered by cells, with a focus on DNA recombination and the movement of special DNA sequences in our chromosomes called transposable elements.

Contents

The Maintenance of DNA Sequences

DNA Replication Mechanisms

The Initiation and Completion of DNA Replication in Chromosomes

DNA Repair

General Recombination

Site-Specific Recombination

References

By agreement with the publisher, this book is accessible by the search feature, but cannot be browsed.

Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .
Bookshelf ID: NBK21064

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