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A recent paper in Cell by Ma et al. [Cell 8 (2002) 781] showed that the protein Artemis cleaves a hairpin intermediate during V(D)J recombination. Peter O'Neill and Penny Jeggo discuss this finding in the light of evidence that Artemis also functions to repair radiation damage [Cell 105 (2001) 177]. The findings suggest that Artemis may function in double strand break repair by "tidying up" double strand ends with associated base damage. The development of genetic diversity during immune development, therefore, seems to exploit damage response mechanisms that function to maintain genetic stability in other cell lineages.


Journal article


DNA Repair (Amst)

Publication Date





771 - 777


Animals, DNA, DNA Damage, DNA Repair, Endonucleases, Humans, Nuclear Proteins