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Ribonucleotide reductase and mitochondrial DNA synthesis

The p53-inducible small subunit of ribonucleotide reductase (p53R2) was originally assumed to be involved in DNA repair. A new study finds mutations in the gene encoding p53R2 (RRM2B) in individuals with severe mitochondrial DNA depletion in muscle, demonstrating its central role in mitochondrial DNA synthesis.

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Figure 1: De novo synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides in a mammalian S-phase cell (left) and a nonproliferating Go/G1 cell (right).

Kim Caesar


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Thelander, L. Ribonucleotide reductase and mitochondrial DNA synthesis. Nat Genet 39, 703–704 (2007).

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