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Thread: DNA damage in "un-used" genes

  1. #1 DNA damage in "un-used" genes 
    Forum Freshman
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    Sep 2011
    After cell specialisation there are genes that are coded for that no longer are expressed in the cell. Does the repression mechanism also prevent the DNA getting damaged? ... or more importantly repaired if it is damaged?

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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Cardiff, Wales
    there's basically 2 ways to prevent damage from accumulating : one is the normal cell repair mechanisms which make sure that everything works together to make a working cell, the other is natural selection killing off mechanisms that express detrimental traits

    the first type of repair would still continue, independent of whether part of a gene is no longer expressed - however, the second one would no longer operate when expression of the trait has ceased, and as such random mutations in unexpressed strands of DNA can accumulate over time

    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
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    Dec 2009
    The repression machinery does not prevent DNA damage. The DNA is still accessible to UV light, reactive oxygen species etc. There are repair mechanisms that check such non-transcribed regions like "global genome nucleotide excision repair".
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