Eukaryotic cells use homologous recombination (HR), classical end-joining (C-NHEJ), and alternative end-joining (Alt-EJ) to repair DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Repair pathway choice is controlled by the activation and activity of pathways specific proteins in eukaryotes. Activity may be regulated by cell cycle stage, tissue type, and differentiation status. Bioflavonoids and other environmental agents such as pesticides have been shown to biochemically act as inhibitors of topoisomerase II (Top2). In cells, bioflavonoids directly lead to DNA double-strand breaks through both Top2-dependent and independent mechanisms, as well as induce DNA damage response (DDR) signaling, and promote alternative end-joining and chromosome alterations. This chapter will present differences in expression and activity of proteins in major DNA repair pathways, findings of Top2 inhibition by bioflavonoids and cellular response, discuss how these compounds trigger alternative end-joining, and conclude with implications for genome instability and human disease.
Part of the book: DNA