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Biol Chem. 1997 Nov;378(11):1217-29.

Nuclear and non-nuclear targets of genotoxic agents in the induction of gene expression. Shared principles in yeast, rodents, man and plants.

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Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institut für Genetik and Universität Karlsruhe, Germany.


The interplay between environmental cues and the genetic response is decisive for the development, health and well-being of an organism. For some environmental factors a narrow margin separates beneficial and toxic impacts. With the increasing exposure to UV-B this dichotomy has reached public attention. This review will be concerned with the mechanisms that mediate a cellular genetic response to noxious agents. The toxic stimuli find access to the regulatory network inside cells by interacting at several points with cellular molecules - a process that converts the 'outside information' into 'cellular language'. As a consequence of such interactions, many adverse agents cause massive signal transduction and changes of gene expression. There is an interesting conservation of the mechanisms from yeast to man. An understanding of the genetic programs and of their phenotypic consequences is lagging behind.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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