Mammalian cells evolve a delicate system, the DNA damage response (DDR) pathway, to monitor genomic integrity and to prevent the damage from both endogenous end exogenous insults. Emerging evidence suggests that aberrant DDR and deficient DNA repair are strongly associated with cancer and aging. Our understanding of the core program of DDR has made tremendous progress in the past two decades. However, the long list of the molecules involved in the DDR and DNA repair continues to grow and the roles of the new "dots" are under intensive investigation. Here, we review the connection between DDR and DNA repair and aging and discuss the potential mechanisms by which deficient DNA repair triggers systemic effects to promote physiological or pathological aging.
Keywords: DNA damage response; aging; senescence.