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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2009 Apr;10(4):243-54. doi: 10.1038/nrm2651. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

The emerging role of nuclear architecture in DNA repair and genome maintenance.

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National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


DNA repair and maintenance of genome stability are crucial to cellular and organismal function, and defects in these processes have been implicated in cancer and ageing. Detailed molecular, biochemical and genetic analyses have outlined the molecular framework involved in cellular DNA-repair pathways, but recent cell-biological approaches have revealed important roles for the spatial and temporal organization of the DNA-repair machinery during the recognition of DNA lesions and the assembly of repair complexes. It has also become clear that local higher-order chromatin structure, chromatin dynamics and non-random global genome organization are key factors in genome maintenance. These cell-biological features of DNA repair illustrate an emerging role for nuclear architecture in multiple aspects of genome maintenance.

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