Transcription - guarding the genome by sensing DNA damage

Nat Rev Cancer. 2004 Sep;4(9):727-37. doi: 10.1038/nrc1435.


Cells induce the expression of DNA-repair enzymes, activate cell-cycle checkpoints and, under some circumstances, undergo apoptosis in response to DNA-damaging agents. The mechanisms by which these cellular responses are triggered are not well understood, but there is recent evidence that the transcription machinery might be used in DNA-damage surveillance and in triggering DNA-damage responses to suppress mutagenesis. Transcription might also act as a DNA-damage dosimeter where the severity of blockage determines whether or not to induce cell death. Could transcription therefore be a potential therapeutic target for anticancer strategies?

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell Cycle
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Transcription, Genetic*