Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Genet. 2008 Nov;24(11):529-38. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2008.08.007. Epub 2008 Sep 21.

MMEJ repair of double-strand breaks (director's cut): deleted sequences and alternative endings.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biology, Tufts University, 165 Packard Avenue, Medford, MA 02155, USA.


DNA double-strand breaks are normal consequences of cell division and differentiation and must be repaired faithfully to maintain genome stability. Two mechanistically distinct pathways are known to efficiently repair double-strand breaks: homologous recombination and Ku-dependent non-homologous end joining. Recently, a third, less characterized repair mechanism, named microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ), has received increasing attention. MMEJ repairs DNA breaks via the use of substantial microhomology and always results in deletions. Furthermore, it probably contributes to oncogenic chromosome rearrangements and genetic variation in humans. Here, we summarize the genetic attributes of MMEJ from several model systems and discuss the relationship between MMEJ and 'alternative end joining'. We propose a mechanistic model for MMEJ and highlight important questions for future research.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center