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Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2013 May 1;5(5):a012641. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a012641.

The maintenance of mitochondrial DNA integrity--critical analysis and update.

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Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of South Alabama, Mobile, AL 36688, USA.


DNA molecules in mitochondria, just like those in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells, are constantly damaged by noxious agents. Eukaryotic cells have developed efficient mechanisms to deal with this assault. The process of DNA repair in mitochondria, initially believed nonexistent, has now evolved into a mature area of research. In recent years, it has become increasingly appreciated that mitochondria possess many of the same DNA repair pathways that the nucleus does. Moreover, a unique pathway that is enabled by high redundancy of the mitochondrial DNA and allows for the disposal of damaged DNA molecules operates in this organelle. In this review, we attempt to present a unified view of our current understanding of the process of DNA repair in mitochondria with an emphasis on issues that appear controversial.

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