Role of DNA repair in host immune response and inflammation

Mutat Res Rev Mutat Res. 2015 Jan-Mar:763:246-57. doi: 10.1016/j.mrrev.2014.11.004. Epub 2014 Nov 27.


In recent years, the understanding of how DNA repair contributes to the development of innate and acquired immunity has emerged. The DNA damage incurred during the inflammatory response triggers the activation of DNA repair pathways, which are required for host-cell survival. Here, we reviewed current understanding of the mechanism by which DNA repair contributes to protection against the oxidized DNA damage generated during infectious and inflammatory diseases and its involvement in innate and adaptive immunity. We discussed the functional role of DNA repair enzymes in the immune activation and the relevance of these processes to: transcriptional regulation of cytokines and other genes involved in the inflammatory response; V(D)J recombination; class-switch recombination (CSR); and somatic hypermutation (SHM). These three last processes of DNA damage repair are required for effective humoral adaptive immunity, creating genetic diversity in developing T and B cells. Furthermore, viral replication is also dependent on host DNA repair mechanisms. Therefore, the elucidation of the pathways of DNA damage and its repair that activate innate and adaptive immunity will be important for a better understanding of the immune and inflammatory disorders and developing new therapeutic interventions for treatment of these diseases and for improving their outcome.

Keywords: Adaptive immunity; DNA damage; DNA repair; Infectious diseases; Inflammatory response; Innate immunity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / genetics
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology*
  • Communicable Diseases / metabolism
  • Communicable Diseases / virology*
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Repair
  • DNA Repair Enzymes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Humoral
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammation / genetics
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress


  • DNA Repair Enzymes