Editor's choice: DNA damage and repair

A single cell can suffer up to one million DNA changes per day. The integrity and stability of DNA is constantly being threatened by exogenous factors, such as UV light, chemicals, as well as endogenous agents, for example reactive Oxygen species. The 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Tomas Lindahl, Paul Modrich and Aziz Sancar for their delineation of the intricate DNA repair mechanisms that organisms have evolved to cope with DNA damage. Defects in DNA repair processes can lead to various disorders, and a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms of DNA damage response is instrumental to develop targeted therapies for pathologies characterised by impaired DNA repair. This Collection highlights recent papers investigating the mechanisms of DNA damage response and repair, including methods for measuring DNA damage, and therapeutic targeting of DNA repair in disease.

Cartoon of a breakage in double-stranded DNA

Biological mechanism


Therapeutic targets