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FEBS J. 2006 Apr;273(8):1609-19.

DNA mismatch repair system. Classical and fresh roles.

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Department of Chemistry and Division of Molecular & Life Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Korea.


The molecular mechanisms of the DNA mismatch repair (MMR) system have been uncovered over the last decade, especially in prokaryotes. The results obtained for prokaryotic MMR proteins have provided a framework for the study of the MMR system in eukaryotic organisms, such as yeast, mouse and human, because the functions of MMR proteins have been conserved during evolution from bacteria to humans. However, mutations in eukaryotic MMR genes result in pleiotropic phenotypes in addition to MMR defects, suggesting that eukaryotic MMR proteins have evolved to gain more diverse and specific roles in multicellular organisms. Here, we summarize recent advances in the understanding of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic MMR systems and describe various new functions of MMR proteins that have been intensively researched during the last few years, including DNA damage surveillance and diversification of antibodies.

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