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Transl Cancer Res. 2013 Jun;2(3):130-143.

DNA double strand break repair via non-homologous end-joining.

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Division of Molecular Radiation Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 2201 Inwood Rd, Dallas, Texas, 75390, USA.


DNA double-stranded breaks (DSB) are among the most dangerous forms of DNA damage. Unrepaired DSBs results in cells undergoing apoptosis or senescence whereas mis-processing of DSBs can lead to genomic instability and carcinogenesis. One important pathway in eukaryotic cells responsible for the repair of DSBs is non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ). In this review we will discuss the interesting new insights into the mechanism of the NHEJ pathway and the proteins which mediate this repair process. Furthermore, the general role of NHEJ in promoting genomic stability will be discussed.


DNA double strand breaks; DNA-Ligase IV; DNA-PKcs; Ku70/80; XLF; XRCC4; non-homologous end-joining

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