Genome instability, defined as higher than normal rates of mutation, is a double-edged sword. As a source of genetic diversity and natural selection, mutations are beneficial for evolution. On the other hand, genomic instability can have catastrophic consequences for age-related diseases such as cancer. Mutations arise either from inactivation of DNA repair pathways or in a repair-competent background due to genotoxic stress from celluar processes such as transcription and replication that overwhelm high-fidelity DNA repair. Here, we review recent studies that shed light on endogenous sources of mutation and epigenomic features that promote genomic instability during cancer evolution.
Keywords: DNA damage; DNA repair; DNA replication; Genome instability; cancer; mutagenesis; transcription.
Published by Elsevier Inc.