From DNA damage to chromosome aberrations: Joining the break

M. Durante, J. S. Bedford, D. J. Chen, S. Conrad, M. N. Cornforth, A. T. Natarajan, D. C. van Gent, G. Obe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Despite many years of experimental studies on radiation-induced chromosomal aberrations, and the recent progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of the DNA damage response, the link between DNA double-strand break repair and its expression as microscopically visible chromosomal rearrangements remains, in many ways, obscure. Some long standing controversies have partially been resolved to the satisfaction of most investigators, including the linearity of the dose-response for DNA double-strand break induction, the necessity of pairwise interaction of radiogenic damaged sites in the formation of exchange aberrations, and the importance of proximity between lesions in misrejoining. However, the contribution of different molecular DNA repair mechanisms (e.g., alternative end-joining pathways) and their impact on the kinetics of aberration formation is still unclear, as is the definition of "complex" radiogenic damaged sites - in either the chemical or spatial sense - which ostensibly lead to chromosome rearrangements. These topics have been recently debated by molecular biologists and cytogeneticists, whose opinions are summarized in this paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-13
Number of pages9
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - May 30 2013


  • Chromosome aberrations
  • DNA double-strand breaks
  • Resection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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