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The response to DNA damage in heterochromatin domains
- Fortuny, Anna, Polo, Sophie E.
- Chromosoma 2018 v.127 no.3 pp. 291-300
- DNA damage, DNA repair, genome, heterochromatin
- Eukaryotic genomes are organized into chromatin, divided into structurally and functionally distinct euchromatin and heterochromatin compartments. The high level of compaction and the abundance of repeated sequences in heterochromatin pose multiple challenges for the maintenance of genome stability. Cells have evolved sophisticated and highly controlled mechanisms to overcome these constraints. Here, we summarize recent findings on how the heterochromatic state influences DNA damage formation, signaling, and repair. By focusing on distinct heterochromatin domains in different eukaryotic species, we highlight the heterochromatin contribution to the compartmentalization of DNA damage repair in the cell nucleus and to the repair pathway choice. We also describe the diverse chromatin alterations associated with the DNA damage response in heterochromatin domains and present our current understanding of their regulatory mechanisms. Finally, we discuss the biological significance and the evolutionary conservation of these processes.