Implications of DNA Damage and DNA Repair on Human Diseases
Bryant C. Nelson, M Miral Dizdar
Cellular DNA damage is implicated in the etiology and progression of many different types of human disorders and diseases. Much of the current research in the DNA damage field is devoted towards understanding the mechanisms and biological implications of DNA lesions that turn into genetic mutations; mutations which ultimately lead to the development of cancer. DNA damage is also implicated in the development of other prevalent human diseases ranging from neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimers disease to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The levels of DNA damage in cancer cells and in other diseased cells are elevated in comparison to the lesion levels found in normal cells. There now exists an abundance of laboratory research focused on characterizing and understanding the DNA repair capacity and DNA repair mechanisms utilized by both diseased and normal cells. And because cancer is the leading cause of early mortality worldwide, there is a predominant and accelerating emphasis on clarifying the overlapping repair pathways and repair proteins utilized by cancer cells.