Home > Disease > DNA and Oxidative Damage

DNA and Oxidative Damage

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 27 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Dna Oxidative Damage Links Disease

DNA is susceptible to many kinds of damage and one of these is oxidative damage. This type of damage can build up over time and overwhelm repair systems, leading to health problems and eventually, disease.

What is Oxidative DNA Damage?

Oxidative damage occurs in your cells from reactive oxygen species. The reactive oxygen species are a consequence of normal body processes such as metabolism. They are also a consequence of interactions with toxic sources such as cancer-promoting substances, certain drugs and radiation. DNA oxidative damage from reactive oxygen species is a common type of damage faced by cells and it can lead to many different mutations and problems in DNA. These range from lesions on DNA and breaks in DNA strands to faulty links and base gaps in sequences.

Understanding How Oxidative DNA Damage Occurs

DNA oxidative damage and its effects can be extremely detrimental to the body. Our understanding of precisely how these effects occur is important to preventing the damage or looking at how to ease the rate at which oxidative reactions cause damage to the body. Another valid focus is to find ways to measure the level of damage before it overwhelms the body and leads to disease. At present, many different types of DNA lesions have been identified in the body's cells and under different conditions. This information has allowed researchers to understand just how DNA oxidative damage is implicated in a number of diseases. These diseases range from neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease to cancers and other diseases that have devastating consequences. In addition to its role in diseases, DNA oxidative damage has also been shown to play a part in the ageing process.

Diseases Associated With Oxidative DNA Damage

Some of the specific diseases and conditions associated with DNA oxidative damage - some of which are highly serious and potentially fatal - include:
  • Arthritis
  • Heart Disease
  • Ageing
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Neurological diseases

DNA Repair Systems and Oxidative DNA Damage

DNA repair systems work to buffer oxidative damage to DNA in cells, thereby helping to safeguard cells from damage. DNA repair enzymes regularly monitor damage to DNA to fix errors as they arise. They target a broad range of errors but if the errors are not repaired, cell death and the change from a healthy to a cancerous cell may then occur. It has become extremely important to understand how repair systems work to prevent and treat oxidative damage to DNA in cells now that we know the damage that can occur when the systems are left unchecked or malfunctioning. Current research is focusing on several aspects of oxidative damage mechanisms to DNA, with focuses on pharmaceutical developments to intervene with regards to DNA repair systems. Other focuses include finding ways to improve a cell's ability to withstand oxidative damage, thereby protecting its DNA. Still other applications involve finding ways to increase the activity of DNA repair genes, which essentially puts the genes in 'overtime' to handle oxidative damage that may inflict DNA.

Reality of DNA Oxidative Damage

We are all exposed to sources of oxidative damage, which affects our cells and can lead to damage, poor health and disease if left unchecked. Fortunately, our DNA repair systems are equipped to handle much of the damage that occurs to DNA. Hopefully, we will find out more in terms of exactly how the damage occurs as well as discovering new links between specific diseases and DNA oxidative damage, which can ultimately lead to better prevention, new treatments and cures.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Cat - Your Question:I was told that the man that I called Dad wasn't my father. The man that is supposed to be my father is die in 2012 but I…
    16 August 2017
  • Cat
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I was told that the man that I called Dad wasn't my father. The man that is supposed to be my father is die in 2012 but I have some of his…
    14 August 2017
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Rmebraatt - Your Question:My son passed away and I have his ashes and baby teeth, is there a way to get his DNA profile? I was adopted and…
    10 August 2017
  • Rmebraatt
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My son passed away and I have his ashes and baby teeth, is there a way to get his DNA profile? I was adopted and told the search would be…
    9 August 2017
  • Freddy
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My ex wife has always told me my late son was my biological son but o was not named on the birth certificate!!! My son also had a son 3mths…
    26 July 2017
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Lost - Your Question:I have 3 older sisters who share the same mother and father. When I was conceived, my mother and her husband were…
    26 July 2017
  • Nothing
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    In Hindu purana their is a story once sage suklacharya drunk a water in which it contains burnt ashes of a dead body...in this mythical story…
    22 July 2017
  • Lost
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I have 3 older sisters who share the same mother and father. When I was conceived, my mother and her husband were legally separated. My…
    21 July 2017
  • Liz
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    My daughter's grandma called to see if my daughter could go to mexico to give her DNA. She gave no reason why she needed. I can only guess…
    13 July 2017
  • ExploreDNA
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Mari - Your Question:I want to know if I can do a DNA test on my son his father passed away disnt give him time change it in the birth…
    6 July 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the ExploreDNA website. Please read our Disclaimer.