Radiation is one of the causative agents for the induction of DNA damage in biological systems. There is various possibility of radiation exposure that might be natural, man-made, intentional, or non-intentional. Published literature indicates that radiation mediated cell death is primarily due to DNA damage that could be a single-strand break, double-strand breaks, base modification, DNA protein cross-links. The double-strand breaks are lethal damage due to the breakage of both strands of DNA. Mammalian cells are equipped with strong DNA repair pathways that cover all types of DNA damage. One of the predominant pathways that operate DNA repair is a non-homologous end-joining pathway (NHEJ) that has various integrated molecules that sense, detect, mediate, and repair the double-strand breaks. Even after a well-coordinated mechanism, there is a strong possibility of mutation due to the flexible nature in joining the DNA strands. There are alternatives to NHEJ pathways that can repair DNA damage. These pathways are alternative NHEJ pathways and single-strand annealing pathways that also displayed a role in DNA repair. These pathways are not studied extensively, and many reports are showing the relevance of these pathways in human diseases. The chapter will very briefly cover the radiation, DNA repair, and Alternative repair pathways in the mammalian system. The chapter will help the readers to understand the basic and applied knowledge of radiation mediated DNA damage and its repair in the context of extensively studied NHEJ pathways and unexplored alternative NHEJ pathways.
Part of the book: DNA