A Magic Spot in Genome Maintenance

Trends Genet. 2017 Jan;33(1):58-67. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2016.11.002. Epub 2016 Dec 5.


Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is the key DNA repair system that eliminates the majority of DNA helix-distorting lesions. RNA polymerase (RNAP) expedites the recognition of DNA damage by NER components via transcription-coupled DNA repair (TCR). In bacteria, a modified nucleotide ppGpp ('magic spot') is a pleiotropic second messenger that mediates the response to nutrient deficiencies by altering the initiation properties of RNAP. In this review, we discuss newly elucidated roles of guanosine 5'-diphosphate 3'-diphosphate (ppGpp) in transcription elongation that couple this alarmone to DNA damage repair and maintenance.

Keywords: DNA repair; backtracking; mutation rate; ppGpp; transcription elongation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • DNA Repair / genetics*
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • DNA
  • DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases