Double-strand breaks in motion: implications for chromosomal rearrangement

Curr Genet. 2020 Feb;66(1):1-6. doi: 10.1007/s00294-019-01015-4. Epub 2019 Jul 18.


DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) must be rejoined properly to prevent the occurrence of serious genomic rearrangements associated with many human diseases. Non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) is a DSB repair mechanism known to protect genomic integrity that is also implicated in creating genomic translocations, inversions, deletions, and insertions. We recently investigated the impact of the pre-damage spatial proximity of DSB-bearing loci on the frequency of trans repair by NHEJ and surprisingly found no correlation between them. In this review, we consider various models that might account for these unexpected results. While DSB movement is necessary to explain our findings, many questions remain about the nature and timing of that motion.

Keywords: DNA repair; Homologous recombination; Movement; Non-homologous end joining; Nucleus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • DNA End-Joining Repair
  • Gene Rearrangement
  • Homologous Recombination
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Translocation, Genetic*