SIGNIFICANCE: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated by exogenous and environmental genotoxins, but also arise from mitochondria as byproducts of respiration in the body. ROS generate DNA damage of which pathological consequence, including cancer is well established. Research efforts are intense to understand the mechanism of DNA base excision repair, the primary mechanism to protect cells from genotoxicity caused by ROS.

RECENT ADVANCES: In addition to the notion that oxidative DNA damage causes transformation of cells, recent studies have revealed how the mitochondrial deficiencies and ROS generation alter cell growth during the cancer transformation.

CRITICAL ISSUES: The emphasis of this review is to highlight the importance of the cellular response to oxidative DNA damage during carcinogenesis. Oxidative DNA damage, including 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine, play an important role during the cellular transformation. It is also becoming apparent that the unusual activity and subcellular distribution of apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1, an essential DNA repair factor/redox sensor, affect cancer malignancy by increasing cellular resistance to oxidative stress and by positively influencing cell proliferation.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS: Technological advancement in cancer cell biology and genetics has enabled us to monitor the detailed DNA repair activities in the microenvironment. Precise understanding of the intracellular activities of DNA repair proteins for oxidative DNA damage should provide help in understanding how mitochondria, ROS, DNA damage, and repair influence cancer transformation.

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Published in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, v. 20, no. 4, p. 708-726.

This is a copy of an article published in Antioxidants & Redox Signaling © 2014 [copyright Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.];Antioxidants & Redox Signaling is available online at: http://online.liebertpub.com/loi/ars

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