The bright and the dark sides of DNA repair in stem cells

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DNA repair is a double-edged sword in stem cells. It protects normal stem cells in both embryonic and adult tissues from genetic damage, thus allowing perpetuation of intact genomes into new tissues. Fast and efficient DNA repair mechanisms have evolved in normal stem and progenitor cells. Upon differentiation, a certain degree of somatic mutations becomes more acceptable and, consequently, DNA repair dims. DNA repair turns into a problem when stem cells transform and become cancerous. Transformed stem cells drive growth of a number of tumours (e.g., high grade gliomas) and being particularly resistant to chemo-and radiotherapeutic agents often cause relapses. The contribution of DNA repair to resistance of these tumour-driving cells is the subject of intense research, in order to find novel agents that may sensitize them to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number845396
JournalJournal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Medicine(all)


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