Introduction: Oxygen Metabolism, DNA Repair, and the Origin of Spontaneous Genetic Instability
An important issue in cancer research concerns the following questions: (a) How do living cells maintain the integrity of their genome? (b) What causes the genome to become destabilized? and (c) How can this destabilization be prevented? Under laboratory conditions it has been relatively easy to identify agents that efficiently destabilize the genome. Many of these agents occur in the natural environment, but it is uncertain whether they are major contributors to the background of genetic instability which occurs spontaneously in living cells. It is increasingly recognized that a substantial part of spontaneous genetic instability may be due to endogenous mechanisms.
KeywordsGenetic Instability Primary Defect Endogenous Mechanism Autocatalytic Process Repair Deficiency
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