DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are cytotoxic DNA lesions that must be repaired as soon as possible because it can cause chromosomal aberrations and cell death. Homologous recombination (HR) and nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ) are the pathways that mainly repair these ruptures. HR process is finely regulated by synchronized posttranslational modifications including phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, and SUMOylation. The ubiquitin (Ub) modifications at damaged chromatin serve as recruitment platforms for DSB repair complexes by facilitating binding sites or regulating the interaction between proteins. Thus, SUMOylation has been associated with protein interaction, enzymatic activity, and chromatin mobility. Several DNA damage factors have been found to be ubiquitylated and SUMOylated including histones (H2AX) and proteins such as Mre11, Rad51, NBS1, and BRCA1. Regarding ubiquitylation-mediated regulation of DNA repair, RNF168 and RNF8 E3 ligases have turned out to be a key step in DNA damage repair regulation. Interestingly, there is evidence that the Ub signaling mechanism is ancestral, and this emphasizes its importance.
Part of the book: Ubiquitination Governing DNA Repair
Aging is defined as the time-dependent decline of functional properties. One common denominator of aging is mitochondrial dysfunction and accumulation of genetic damage throughout life. In fact, the imperfect maintenance of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA likely represents a critical contributor of aging. Each day, the integrity and stability of DNA are challenged by exogenous physical, chemical, or biological agents, as well as by endogenous processes, including DNA replication mistakes, spontaneous hydrolytic reactions, and reactive oxygen species. In this way, DNA repair systems have evolved a complex network that is collectively able of dealing with most of the damages inflicted. However, their efficiency may decrease with age and, therefore, influence the rate of aging. Thus, the purpose of this work is to summarize the recent knowledge in cellular aging process and its link with DNA repair systems, with a particular emphasis on the molecular mechanisms associated.
Part of the book: DNA Repair
The mitochondrial genomic material (mtDNA), similarly to nuclear genome, is exposed to a plethora of exogenous and endogenous agents, as well as natural processes like replication that compromise the integrity and fidelity of the mtDNA, despite the abovementioned, the mtDNA does not contain genes involved in DNA repair, therefore mitochondria completely depend on the importation of nuclear-encoded elements to achieve genome maintenance, which implies a coordinated crosstalk between these two organelles. It has been determined that to counteract damage, mitochondria possess well-defined repair pathways quite similar to those of the nucleus, among which are: base excision repair (BER), mismatch repair (MMR), single-strand break repair (SSBR), microhomology-mediated end joining (MMEJ), and probably homology recombination dependent repair (HRR). If these repair pathways are nonfunctional and the lesions remain unrepaired, the emergence of mutations, deletions, and other insults may result in compromised cellular viability and disease.
Part of the book: DNA Repair