Human Genome and Diseases:¶Double-strand breaks and translocations in cancer
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- Elliott, B. & Jasin, M. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2002) 59: 373. doi:10.1007/s00018-002-8429-3
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The correct repair of double-strand breaks (DSBs) is essential for the genomic integrity of a cell, as inappropriate repair can lead to chromosomal rearrangements such as translocations. In many hematologic cancers and sarcomas, translocations are the etiological factor in tumorigenesis, resulting in either the deregulation of a proto-oncogene or the expression of a fusion protein with transforming properties. Mammalian cells are able to repair DSBs by pathways involving homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining. The analysis of translocation breakpoints in a number of cancers and the development of model translocation systems are beginning to shed light on specific DSB repair pathway(s) responsible for the improper repair of broken chromosomes.