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Oncogene. 2007 Dec 10;26(56):7731-40.

Non-homologous end-joining, a sticky affair.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology and Genetics, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Rejoining of broken chromosomes is crucial for cell survival and prevention of malignant transformation. Most mammalian cells rely primarily on the non-homologous end-joining pathway of DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair to accomplish this task. This review focuses both on the core non-homologous end-joining machinery, which consists of DNA-dependent protein kinase and the ligase IV/XRCC4 complex, and on accessory factors that facilitate rejoining of a subset of the DSBs. We discuss how the ATM protein kinase and the Mre11/Rad50/Nbs1 complex might function in DSB repair and what role ionizing radiation-induced foci may play in this process.

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