Physiological functions of programmed DNA breaks in signal-induced transcription

Janusz Puc, Aneel K. Aggarwal, Michael G. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The idea that signal-dependent transcription might involve the generation of transient DNA nicks or even breaks in the regulatory regions of genes, accompanied by activation of DNA damage repair pathways, would seem to be counterintuitive, as DNA damage is usually considered harmful to cellular integrity. However, recent studies have generated a substantial body of evidence that now argues that programmed DNA single- or double-strand breaks can, at least in specific cases, have a role in transcription regulation. Here, we discuss the emerging functions of DNA breaks in the relief of DNA torsional stress and in promoter and enhancer activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalNature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017


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