Double-strand breaks and tumorigenesis

Trends Cell Biol. 2001 Nov;11(11):S52-9. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(01)02149-3.


The establishment of connections between biochemical defects and clinical disease is a major goal of modern molecular genetics. In this review, we examine the current literature that relates defects in the two major DNA double-strand-break repair pathways--homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining--with the development of human tumors. Although definitive proof has yet to be obtained, the current literature is highly suggestive of such a link.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Disorders / genetics
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Genes, BRCA1
  • Genes, BRCA2
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Phenotype
  • Recombination, Genetic*