Genome maintenance mechanisms for preventing cancer

Nature. 2001 May 17;411(6835):366-74. doi: 10.1038/35077232.


The early notion that cancer is caused by mutations in genes critical for the control of cell growth implied that genome stability is important for preventing oncogenesis. During the past decade, knowledge about the mechanisms by which genes erode and the molecular machinery designed to counteract this time-dependent genetic degeneration has increased markedly. At the same time, it has become apparent that inherited or acquired deficiencies in genome maintenance systems contribute significantly to the onset of cancer. This review summarizes the main DNA caretaking systems and their impact on genome stability and carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Pair Mismatch / genetics
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics
  • Syndrome
  • Telomere / genetics
  • Transcription, Genetic / genetics