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Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Mar;2(3):196-206.

Chromosomal stability and the DNA double-stranded break connection.

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Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Genome stability is of primary importance for the survival and proper functioning of all organisms. Double-stranded breaks in DNA are important threats to genome integrity because they can result in chromosomal aberrations that can affect, simultaneously, many genes, and lead to cell malfunctioning and cell death. These detrimental consequences are counteracted by two mechanistically distinct pathways of double-stranded break repair: homologous recombination and non-homologous end-joining. Recently, unexpected links between these double-stranded break-repair systems, and several human genome instability and cancer predisposition syndromes, have emerged. Now, interactions between both double-stranded break-repair pathways and other cellular processes, such as cell-cycle regulation and replication, are being unveiled.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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