DSB repair: the yeast paradigm

DNA Repair (Amst). Aug-Sep 2004;3(8-9):797-815. doi: 10.1016/j.dnarep.2004.04.013.


Genome stability is of primary importance for the survival and proper functioning of all organisms. Double-strand breaks (DSBs) arise spontaneously during growth, or can be created by external insults. In response to even a single DSB, organisms must trigger a series of events to promote repair of the DNA damage in order to survive and restore chromosomal integrity. In doing so, cells must regulate a fine balance between potentially competing DSB repair pathways. These are generally classified as either homologous recombination (HR) or non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is an ideal model organism for studying these repair processes. Indeed, much of what we know today on the mechanisms of repair in eukaryotes come from studies carried out in budding yeast. Many of the proteins involved in the various repair pathways have been isolated and the details of their mode of action are currently being unraveled at the molecular level. In this review, we focus on exciting new work eminating from yeast research that provides fresh insights into the DSB repair process. This recent work supplements and complements the wealth of classical genetic research that has been performed in yeast systems over the years. Given the conservation of the repair mechanisms and genes throughout evolution, these studies have profound implications for other eukaryotic organisms.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Chromatin / ultrastructure
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Mitosis
  • Models, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology*


  • Chromatin