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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Oct;13(10):659-71. doi: 10.1038/nrm3439. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Minimizing the damage: repair pathways keep mitochondrial DNA intact.

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MRC-Mitochondrial Biology Unit, Wellcome Trust/MRC Building, Cambridge, UK.

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  • Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012 Nov;13(11):726.


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) faces the universal challenges of genome maintenance: the accurate replication, transmission and preservation of its integrity throughout the life of the organism. Although mtDNA was originally thought to lack DNA repair activity, four decades of research on mitochondria have revealed multiple mtDNA repair pathways, including base excision repair, single-strand break repair, mismatch repair and possibly homologous recombination. These mtDNA repair pathways are mediated by enzymes that are similar in activity to those operating in the nucleus, and in all cases identified so far in mammals, they are encoded by nuclear genes.

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