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Abstract

DNA damage by agents crosslinking the strands presents a formidable challenge to the cell to repair for survival and to repair accurately for maintenance of genetic information. It appears that repair of DNA crosslinks occurs in a path involving double strand breaks (DSBs) in the DNA. Mammalian cells have multiple systems involved in the repair response to such damage, including the Fanconi anemia pathway that appears to be directly involved, although the mechanisms and site of action remain elusive. A particular finding relating to deficiency of the Fanconi anemia pathway is the observation of chromosomal radial formations after ICL damage. The basis of formation of such chromosomal aberrations is unknown although they appear secondarily to DSBs. Here we review the processes involved in response to DNA interstrand crosslinks which might lead to radial formation and the role of the nucleotide excision repair gene, ERCC1, which is required for a normal response, not just to DNA crosslinks, but also for DSBs at collapsed replication forks caused by substrate depletion. J. Cell. Physiol. 220: 569–573, 2009. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.