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Double-strand breaks in motion: implications for chromosomal rearrangement


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.

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Correspondence to Thomas E. Wilson.

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Communicated by M. Kupiec.

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Wilson, T.E., Sunder, S. Double-strand breaks in motion: implications for chromosomal rearrangement. Curr Genet 66, 1–6 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00294-019-01015-4

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  • DNA repair
  • Non-homologous end joining
  • Homologous recombination
  • Nucleus
  • Movement