Each day tens of thousands of DNA single-strand breaks (SSBs) arise in every cell from the attack of deoxyribose and DNA bases by reactive oxygen species and other electrophilic molecules. DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) also arise, albeit at a much lower frequency, from similar attacks and from the encounter of unrepaired SSBs and possibly other DNA structures by DNA replication forks. DSBs are also created during normal development of the immune system. Defects in the cellular response to DNA strand breaks underpin many human diseases, including disorders associated with cancer predisposition, immune dysfunction, radiosensitivity, and neurodegeneration. Here we provide an overview of the genetic diseases associated with defects in the repair/response to DNA strand breaks.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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