Journal of Biosciences

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 503–517 | Cite as

DNA damage by reactive species: Mechanisms, mutation and repair

  • N R JenaEmail author


DNA is continuously attacked by reactive species that can affect its structure and function severely. Structural modifications to DNA mainly arise from modifications in its bases that primarily occur due to their exposure to different reactive species. Apart from this, DNA strand break, inter- and intra-strand crosslinks and DNA–protein crosslinks can also affect the structure of DNA significantly. These structural modifications are involved in mutation, cancer and many other diseases. As it has the least oxidation potential among all the DNA bases, guanine is frequently attacked by reactive species, producing a plethora of lethal lesions. Fortunately, living cells are evolved with intelligent enzymes that continuously protect DNA from such damages. This review provides an overview of different guanine lesions formed due to reactions of guanine with different reactive species. Involvement of these lesions in inter- and intra-strand crosslinks, DNA–protein crosslinks and mutagenesis are discussed. How certain enzymes recognize and repair different guanine lesions in DNA are also presented.


DNA crosslinks DNA damage DNA repair mutation nucleotide flipping reactive species 



I am thankful to the Department of Science and Technology (India) for financial support.


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© Indian Academy of Sciences 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsIndian Institute of Information Technology, Design and ManufacturingJabalpurIndia

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