Sunlight-Induced DNA Lesions. Lesion Structure, Mutation Characteristics and Repair
The UV part of sunlight is known to induce a variety of genome defects. These lesions are the major cause of skin cancer development. In order to counter such toxic effects cells have developed a number of sophisticated DNA repair systems, like nucleotide excision repair and photoreactivation. The repair machinery is able to specifically recognize sunlight-induced DNA lesions and to subsequently remove this damage. Malfunctioning repair systems are responsible for the three rare genetic diseases Xeroderma pigmentosum, Cockayne's syndrome, and trichothiodystrophy. In this review article, the structure of the major sunlight-induced lesions will be discussed. An overview of the two major repair mechanisms, photoreactivation and excision repair, is given, and the effects of the DNA lesions on the p53 gene and on tumor genesis are discussed.
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