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Nat Genet. 2019 Aug;51(8):1283-1294. doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0471-2. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

DNA cross-link repair safeguards genomic stability during premeiotic germ cell development.

Author information

1
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK.
2
MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK. gcrossan@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

Germline de novo mutations are the basis of evolutionary diversity but also of genetic disease. However, the molecular origin, mechanisms and timing of germline mutagenesis are not fully understood. Here, we define a fundamental role for DNA interstrand cross-link repair in the germline. This repair process is essential for primordial germ cell (PGC) maturation during embryonic development. Inactivation of cross-link repair leads to genetic instability that is restricted to PGCs within the genital ridge during a narrow temporal window. Having successfully activated the PGC transcriptional program, a potent quality control mechanism detects and drives damaged PGCs into apoptosis. Therefore, these findings define a source of DNA damage and the nature of the subsequent DNA repair response in germ cells, which ensures faithful transmission of the genome between generations.

PMID:
31367016
PMCID:
PMC6675612
[Available on 2020-01-31]
DOI:
10.1038/s41588-019-0471-2

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