DNA-damage inducible genes

  • Matilda A. Papathanasiou
  • Albert J. FornaceJr.

Abstract

Most organisms can respond to changes in the environment by the induction of a variety of different genes. For example, exposure to elevated temperature, heat shock, leads to the increased transcription (induction) of a number of genes whose protein products, the heat-shock proteins (hsp*), may increase the cellular resistance to heat shock. Another example is the cellular exposure to toxic metal salts, such as cadmium, that leads to the induction of genes whose protein products, like metallothionein (MT), have a protective effect by binding these metal salts. As will be discussed throughout this chapter, exposure of cells to DNA-damaging agents can lead to the induction of a variety of genes. In a manner analogous to other stress responses, the products of DNA-damage-inducible (DDI) genes might be expected to have protective roles against genotoxic stress. This is clearly the case for bacteria, and a brief review of DDI genes in prokaryotes has been included for this reason. In eukaryotes, our understanding of DDI genes is less complete than in bacteria, but some evidence has already been found, particularly in yeast, that some DDI genes encode DNA repair functions. In mammalian cells, few DNA repair genes have been identified; thus, isolation of genes on the basis of DNA-damage inducibility offers an approach to identify genes involved in DNA damage processing.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matilda A. Papathanasiou
  • Albert J. FornaceJr.

There are no affiliations available

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