Home > Genetics > DNA Repair Genes

DNA Repair Genes

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 28 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Dna Disease Prevent Preventing Genes

Your DNA plays many important roles in your body but perhaps equally important are the repair genes that keep DNA structure intact and also keep DNA working optimally. Without DNA repair genes, the many mistakes that occur in all of our bodies during our lifetimes would wreck havoc on our cells, tissues and body systems. Although we are still learning more about which genes are involved in DNA repair, it is anticipated that new genes will be identified as time goes on, which can provide valuable clues to preventing the onset of disease.

How Does DNA Damage Occur?

DNA damage can occur through numerous ways. Some radiation wavelengths are known to damage your DNA. You are probably already familiar with ultraviolet radiation from the sun. X-rays produce ionising radiation, which is known to damage DNA. Other causes of DNA damage include oxygen radicals and various chemicals that we are exposed to in the environment. By-products of cigarette smoke are substances that result in damaged DNA. In fact, even toxins released by moulds can damage your DNA. Other well-known damaging agents include chemotherapy, which is used for cancer treatment. There are many other ways that damage can occur but the key to remember is that repair systems actively work to smooth out damages and maintain your DNA and cells.

DNA Support and Repair

Your body is equipped to handle damage that occurs to DNA although within reason. What this means is that your body's repair system can still become overwhelmed, particularly if it is repeatedly exposed to a damaging agent. Ageing can also mean that your repair genes do not operate nearly as effectively. Still, your body's repair genes are essential to maintain your DNA and when they cease to work properly, negative health consequences are likely to occur. These consequences can include anything from birth defects to increased susceptibility as well as cancer or more rapid ageing.

Identification of DNA Repair Genes

Fortunately, there are nearly a hundred and fifty genes that have been identified as playing a key role in DNA repair. Most of these genes have been isolated in studies with humans although original work actually involved bacteria and yeast. The genes serve to function in many vital pathways, which consist of not only recognising lesions in DNA but also successfully removing them. In addition, they serve to protect DNA from mistakes that occur during copying or even during repair itself. Better still, they enhance the resilience of DNA to damage, leaving it more tolerant to damage that may occur. Other genes have a less direct role but are still important to maintaining the integrity of your body's DNA. These genes have functions such as maintaining cell cycles, thereby providing a larger window of time in which to perform necessary repairs.

Discovering More DNA Repair Genes

Given the rapid rate of gene discovery, it is expected that many more DNA repair genes will be identified in the coming years. Their identification can hopefully provide clues to keep DNA from deteriorating and malfunctioning, which will have important ramifications for disease.

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
  • _xXFortnite GamerXx_
    Re: An Overview of DNA Functions
    Why my DNA not give me pro gamer moves and big brain times?
    15 October 2019
  • Sally
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I want to do this because of paper with proof of being a sister or daughter was reason why I was not able to attend this funeral please help.
    15 October 2019
  • Tammy
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    How good are DNA results when DNA is taken from a person close to death.Such as saliva,hair and toenails?
    13 October 2019
  • Beth
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Hi my sister's grandson past away just recently he had a toxicology test done we recently found out his girl friend of 3mths havin his baby…
    4 October 2019
  • Wag
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    Wife passed away while we were on vacation in the sierras. Is it possible that there may be some item of hers that would have dna on it for a…
    28 September 2019
  • Ankesh
    Re: The Properties of DNA
    Please explain the properties with diagram...it helps to understand the topic Easley
    19 September 2019
  • Kitty
    Re: Using DNA and for Immigration Purposes
    I have 3 children for my ex partner he came to me and told me that immigration have asked for birth certificate of my…
    28 August 2019
  • Laverne
    Re: Using DNA and for Immigration Purposes
    Hi..i am a USC. I petition for my stepchildren who are in Jamaica and the petition has been approved. I have since…
    9 August 2019
  • Mhay
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I need some answer...my son died 24 years ago, August 6,1995, he was born July 29,1995, I just have doubts in my mind, as Fabella Hospital in…
    30 July 2019
  • mich
    Re: DNA Test after Death
    I would like to know if an old baseball cap would have my father's dna. My dad passed away in 2010.
    30 July 2019