Recent insights into eukaryotic double-strand DNA break repair unveiled by single-molecule methods

Sara de Bragança, Mark S Dillingham, Fernando Moreno-Herrero*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Genome integrity and maintenance are essential for the viability of all organisms. A wide variety of DNA damage types have been described, but double-strand breaks (DSBs) stand out as one of the most toxic DNA lesions. Two major pathways account for the repair of DSBs: homologous recombination (HR) and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ). Both pathways involve complex DNA transactions catalyzed by proteins that sequentially or cooperatively work to repair the damage. Single-molecule methods allow visualization of these complex transactions and characterization of the protein:DNA intermediates of DNA repair, ultimately allowing a comprehensive breakdown of the mechanisms underlying each pathway. We review current understanding of the HR and NHEJ responses to DSBs in eukaryotic cells, with a particular emphasis on recent advances through the use of single-molecule techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-940
Number of pages17
JournalTrends in genetics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to acknowledge the many single-molecule studies that could not be addressed in this review due to space limitations. Work in the laboratory of F.M-H. was supported by grants PID2020-112998GB-I00 from the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN)/ Agencia Estatal de Investigación ( AEI/10.13039/501100011033 )_FEDER, EU, cofunded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF); grants Y2018/BIO4747 and P2018/NMT4443 from the Autonomous Region of Madrid and cofunded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and the ERDF; and grant EUREXCEL 951214 funded by CSIC. Work in the laboratory of M.S.D. was supported by the Wellcome Trust ( 100401/Z/12/Z ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)


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