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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Mar;12(3):198-202. doi: 10.1038/nrm3060. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

DNA damage response in adult stem cells: pathways and consequences.

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Immune Disease Institute, the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Childrens Hospital Boston, 200 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


In contrast to postmitotic or short-lived somatic cells, tissue-specific stem cells must persist and function throughout life to ensure tissue homeostasis and repair. The enormous functional demands and longevity of stem cells raises the possibility that stem cells might be uniquely equipped to maintain genomic integrity in ways different than somatic cells. Indeed, evidence suggests that stem cell compartments possess unique properties that combine to either limit or, in some instances, accelerate DNA damage accrual.

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