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DNA Repair (Amst). 2008 Apr 2;7(4):545-57. Epub 2007 Oct 24.

Surveillance mechanisms monitoring chromosome breaks during mitosis and meiosis.

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Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze, Università di Milano-Bicocca, P.zza della Scienza 2, 20126 Milan, Italy.


DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly hazardous for genome integrity, because failure to repair them can lead to genome rearrangements or chromosome loss. They can arise at unpredictable locations as a consequence of DNA damage during both the mitotic and the meiotic cell cycle or in a programmed manner during meiosis. Cellular response to accidental or programmed DSBs involves highly conserved surveillance mechanisms, called DNA damage checkpoint and recombination checkpoint, which coordinate DSB repair with mitotic or meiotic cell cycle progression, respectively. Although these protective signal-transduction pathways share several upstream components, activation of the recombination checkpoint requires meiosis-specific proteins. These proteins are structural components of the meiotic chromosomes, indicating that the system monitoring programmed meiotic DSBs is an integral part of the chromosome structure formed during meiosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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