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DNA Repair (Amst). 2004 Nov 2;3(11):1515-20.

The Mre11 complex and ATM: a two-way functional interaction in recognising and signaling DNA double strand breaks.

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Queensland Cancer Fund Research Unit, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, P.O. Box Royal Brisbane Hospital, Herston, Brisbane, Qld 4029, Australia.

Erratum in

  • DNA Repair (Amst). 2005 Apr 4;4(4):519.


Mutations in components of the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex give rise to genetic disorders characterized by neurological abnormalities, radiosensitivity, cell cycle checkpoint defects, genomic instability and cancer predisposition. Evidence exists that this complex associates with chromatin during DNA replication and acts as a sensor of double strand breaks (dsbs) in DNA after exposure to radiation. A series of recent reports provides additional support that the complex senses breaks in DNA and relays this information to ATM, mutated in ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), which in turn activates pathways for cell cycle checkpoint activation. Paradoxically members of the Mre11 complex are also downstream of ATM in these pathways. Here, Lavin attempts to make sense of this sensing mechanism with reference to a series of recent reports on the topic.

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