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Mutat Res. 2003 Oct 29;531(1-2):231-51.

The interacting pathways for prevention and repair of oxidative DNA damage.

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Institute of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7489 Trondheim, Norway.


Genomes are damaged by spontaneous decay, chemicals, radiation and replication errors. DNA damage may cause mutations resulting in inheritable disease, cancer and ageing. Oxidative stress from ionising radiation and oxidative metabolism causes base damage, as well as strand breaks in DNA. Base damage is mostly indirect and caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated, e.g. O2(.-) (superoxide radical), OH. (hydroxyl radical) and H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide). ROS also oxidise RNA, lipids, proteins and nucleotides. The first line of defence against ROS is enzymatic inactivation of superoxide by superoxide dismutase and inactivation of the less toxic hydrogen peroxide by catalase. As a second line of defence, incorporation of damaged bases into DNA is prevented by enzymes that hydrolyse oxidised dNTPs (e.g. 8-oxodGTP) to the corresponding dNMP. The third line of defence is repair of oxidative damage in DNA by an intricate network of DNA repair mechanisms. Base excision repair (BER), transcription-coupled repair (TCR), global genome repair (GGR), mismatch repair (MMR), translesion synthesis (TLS), homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) all contribute to repair of oxidative DNA damage. These mechanisms are also integrated with other cellular processes such as cell cycle regulation, transcription and replication and even use some common proteins. BER is the major pathway for repair of oxidative base damage, with TCR and MMR being important backup pathways for repair of transcribed strands and newly replicated strands, respectively. In recent years, several new DNA glycosylases that initiate BER of oxidative damage have been identified. These have specificities overlapping with previously known DNA glycosylases and serve as backups, and may have distinct roles as well. Thus, there is both inter- and intra-pathway complementation in repair of oxidative base damage, explaining the limited effects of absence of single DNA glycosylases in animal model systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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