Review Article | Published:

Instability and decay of the primary structure of DNA

Nature volume 362, pages 709715 (22 April 1993) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Although DNA is the carrier of genetic information, it has limited chemical stability. Hydrolysis, oxidation and nonenzymatic methylation of DNA occur at significant ratesin vivo, and are counteracted by specific DNA repair processes. The spontaneous decay of DNA is likely to be a major factor in mutagenesis, carcinogenesis and ageing, and also sets limits for the recovery of DNA fragments from fossils.

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Affiliations

  1. Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Clare Hall Laboratories, South Mimms. Hertfordshire EN6 3LD. UK.

    • Tomas Lindahl

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https://doi.org/10.1038/362709a0

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