A simple answer to complex questions: Caenorhabditis elegans as an experimental model for examining the DNA damage response and disease genes

Rieckher M, Bujarrabal A, Doll MA, Soltanmohammadi N, Schumacher B

J. Cell. Physiol. 2017 May;

PMID: 28463453


The genetic information is constantly challenged by genotoxic attacks. DNA repair mechanisms evolved early in evolution and recognize and remove the various lesions. A complex network of DNA damage responses (DDR) orchestrates a variety of physiological adaptations to the presence of genome instability. Erroneous repair or malfunctioning of the DDR causes cancer development and the accumulation of DNA lesions drives the aging process. For understanding the complex DNA repair and DDR mechanisms it is pivotal to employ simple metazoan as model systems. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has become a well-established and popular experimental organism that allows dissecting genome stability mechanisms in dynamic and differentiated tissues and under physiological conditions. We provide an overview of the distinct advantages of the nematode system for studying DDR and provide a range of currently applied methodologies.

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