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Deoxyribonucleotide metabolism, mutagenesis and cancer.

Authors: Christopher K CK. Mathews
Published: 08/24/2015, Nature reviews. Cancer


Cancer was recognized as a genetic disease at least four decades ago, with the realization that the spontaneous mutation rate must increase early in tumorigenesis to account for the many mutations in tumour cells compared with their progenitor pre-malignant cells. Abnormalities in the deoxyribonucleotide pool have long been recognized as determinants of DNA replication fidelity, and hence may contribute to mutagenic processes that are involved in carcinogenesis. In addition, many anticancer agents antagonize deoxyribonucleotide metabolism. Here, we consider the extent to which aspects of deoxyribonucleotide metabolism contribute to our understanding of both carcinogenesis and to the effective use of anticancer agents.

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