The cellular response to general and programmed DNA double strand breaks

DNA Repair (Amst). Aug-Sep 2004;3(8-9):781-96. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2004.06.001.


DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) are among the most dangerous lesions that can occur in the genome of eukaryotic cells. Proper repair of chromosomal DSBs is critical for maintaining cellular viability and genomic integrity and, in multi-cellular organisms, for suppression of tumorigenesis. Thus, eukaryotic cells have evolved specialized and redundant molecular mechanisms to sense, respond to, and repair DSBs. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the progress that has been made over the last decade in elucidating the identity and function of components that participate in the cellular response to chromosomal DSBs. Then, we discuss, in more depth, the response to DSBs that occur in the context of the V(D)J recombination and IgH class switch recombination reactions that occur in cells of the lymphocyte lineage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / genetics
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Genetic
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • VDJ Recombinases / physiology


  • Immunoglobulins
  • VDJ Recombinases