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Mutat Res. 2013 Oct;750(1-2):45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2013.07.003. Epub 2013 Jul 21.

The DNA damage response during mitosis.

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Department of Medical Oncology, University Medical Centre Groningen, University of Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, 9723GZ Groningen, The Netherlands.


Cells are equipped with a cell-intrinsic signaling network called the DNA damage response (DDR). This signaling network recognizes DNA lesions and initiates various downstream pathways to coordinate a cell cycle arrest with the repair of the damaged DNA. Alternatively, the DDR can mediate clearance of affected cells that are beyond repair through apoptosis or senescence. The DDR can be activated in response to DNA damage throughout the cell cycle, although the extent of DDR signaling is different in each cell cycle phase. Especially in response to DNA double strand breaks, only a very marginal response was observed during mitosis. Early on it was recognized that cells which are irradiated during mitosis continued division without repairing broken chromosomes. Although these initial observations indicated diminished DNA repair and lack of an acute DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest, insight into the mechanistic re-wiring of DDR signaling during mitosis was only recently provided. Different mechanisms appear to be at play to inactivate specific signaling axes of the DDR network in mitosis. Importantly, mitotic cells not simply inactivate the entire DDR, but appear to mark their DNA damage for repair after mitotic exit. Since the treatment of cancer frequently involves agents that induce DNA damage as well as agents that block mitotic progression, it is clinically relevant to obtain a better understanding of how cancer cells deal with DNA damage during interphase versus mitosis. In this review, the molecular details concerning DDR signaling during mitosis as well as the consequences of encountering DNA damage during mitosis for cellular fate are discussed.


Adaptation; Cell cycle; Checkpoint; Mitosis; Mutagenesis; Recovery

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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