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Exp Cell Res. 1986 Jun;164(2):273-81.

DNA strand breaks, NAD metabolism, and programmed cell death.


An intimate relationship exists between DNA single-strand breaks, NAD metabolism, and cell viability in quiescent human lymphocytes. Under steady-state conditions, resting lymphocytes continually break and rejoin DNA. The balanced DNA excision-repair process is accompanied by a proportional consumption of NAD for poly(ADP-ribose) synthesis. However, lymphocytes have a limited capacity to resynthesize NAD from nicotinamide. An increase in DNA strand break formation in lymphocytes, or a block in DNA repair, accelerates poly(ADP-ribose) formation and may induce lethal NAD and ATP depletion. In this way, the level of DNA single-strand breaks in the lymphocyte nucleus is linked to the metabolic activity of the cytoplasm. The programmed removal of lymphocytes (and perhaps of other cells) with damaged DNA, may represent a novel physiologic function for poly(ADP-ribose)-dependent NAD cycling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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