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Annu Rev Genet. 1999;33:533-64.

Mammalian DNA mismatch repair.

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Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland 97201-3098, USA.


DNA mismatch repair (MMR) is one of multiple replication, repair, and recombination processes that are required to maintain genomic stability in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the wake of the discoveries that hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and other human cancers are associated with mutations in MMR genes, intensive efforts are under way to elucidate the biochemical functions of mammalian MutS and MutL homologs, and the consequences of defects in these genes. Genetic studies in cultured mammalian cells and mice are proving to be instrumental in defining the relationship between the functions of MMR in mutation and tumor avoidance. Furthermore, these approaches have raised awareness that MMR homologs contribute to DNA damage surveillance, transcription-coupled repair, and recombinogenic and meiotic processes.

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