Washington, M. Todd Department of Biochemistry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Vasquez, Karen M. Departments of Therapeutic Radiology and Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Glazer, Peter M. Departments of Therapeutic Radiology and Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:April 2020
Show previous versions
- DNA damage
- Direct reversal of damage
- Base excision repair
- Nucleotide excision repair
- Mismatch repair
- Recombination repair
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The set of biochemical processes that fixes DNA molecules when they are damaged. The processes involved in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) repair are important because DNA (Fig. 1) is the genetic material that directs the production of all the proteins and ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules needed for biochemical and cellular activities. DNA is constantly subject to damage by both internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous) assaults. This damage can lead to blocks in transcription and replication. Blocks in replication are particularly problematic because these can lead to mutations, which are permanent alterations to the genetic material. The accumulation of such mutations is one of the major driving forces of cancer, and several cancer-prone diseases are caused by defects in DNA repair pathways. Because of the importance of fixing DNA damage before it interferes with transcription and replication, several pathways of DNA repair have evolved. These pathways are present to varying extents in all organisms, from bacteria to higher plants and animals. See also: Biochemistry; Cancer; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Genetics; Mutation; Nucleic acid; Protein; Ribonucleic acid (RNA)
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information