The MRE11 complex: starting from the ends

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Feb;12(2):90-103. doi: 10.1038/nrm3047.


The maintenance of genome stability depends on the DNA damage response (DDR), which is a functional network comprising signal transduction, cell cycle regulation and DNA repair. The metabolism of DNA double-strand breaks governed by the DDR is important for preventing genomic alterations and sporadic cancers, and hereditary defects in this response cause debilitating human pathologies, including developmental defects and cancer. The MRE11 complex, composed of the meiotic recombination 11 (MRE11), RAD50 and Nijmegen breakage syndrome 1 (NBS1; also known as nibrin) proteins is central to the DDR, and recent insights into its structure and function have been gained from in vitro structural analysis and studies of animal models in which the DDR response is deficient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / chemistry
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / metabolism
  • DNA Repair*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Pyrococcus furiosus / chemistry
  • Pyrococcus furiosus / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DNA Repair Enzymes