DNA damage-induced programmed cell death: potential roles in germ cell development

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 May;1049:9-16. doi: 10.1196/annals.1334.002.


The detection of DNA damage is necessary to protect against proliferation of potentially harmful cells and often results in cell cycle arrest and programmed cell death. Key components of DNA damage signaling networks include ATM, CHK2, p53, and Bax. Mutations in these damage signaling systems are linked to tumorigenesis and developmental abnormalities. Expression of some of these genes in primordial germ cells (PGCs) argues that PGCs may utilize DNA damage-induced signaling mechanisms to select against germ cells that are genetically defective, thus maintaining the integrity of the germline. This paper summarizes the roles of these DNA damage signaling molecules and addresses their potential involvement in germ cell development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Death*
  • Checkpoint Kinase 2
  • DNA Damage*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Germ Cells / physiology*
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / metabolism
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • HID protein, Drosophila
  • Neuropeptides
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • bcl-2-Associated X Protein
  • rpr protein, Drosophila
  • skl protein, Drosophila
  • Checkpoint Kinase 2
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases