DNA, the keeper of genetic information in all organisms, is constantly modified by internal and external factors during the cell's lifetime.
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Many types of DNA modification cause mutations. Although mutations may be harmful to individual cells or organisms, mutation in populations is valuable because it leads to genetic variation and ultimately to evolution. There are even circumstances when it is useful to increase the number of mutations in a cell, for example in genes that code for antibodies. Maintaining the optimal balance between genetic stability and variability requires the cell to balance the frequency with which modifications to the DNA occur, and the efficiency with which the original sequence is restored by the various DNA repair pathways.
- Polosina, YY, Cupples CG. (2011) Mutagenesis Mechanisms, Encyclopaedia of Life Sciences, Wiley-Blackwell.
- Polosina YY, Cupples CG. (2010) Wot the 'L-Does MutL do? Mutat Res. 705: 228-38.
- Polosina YY, Cupples CG. (2010) MutL: conducting the cell's response to mismatched and misaligned DNA. Bioessays. 32(1):51-9.