The capacity of oocytes for DNA repair

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Female fertility and offspring health are critically dependent on the maintenance of an adequate supply of high-quality oocytes. Like somatic cells, oocytes are subject to a variety of different types of DNA damage arising from endogenous cellular processes and exposure to exogenous genotoxic stressors. While the repair of intentionally induced DNA double strand breaks in gametes during meiotic recombination is well characterised, less is known about the ability of oocytes to repair pathological DNA damage and the relative contribution of DNA repair to oocyte quality is not well defined. This review will discuss emerging data suggesting that oocytes are in fact capable of efficient DNA repair and that DNA repair may be an important mechanism for ensuring female fertility, as well as the transmission of high-quality genetic material to subsequent generations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2777-2792
Number of pages16
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Base excision repair
  • Detection and response
  • Folliculogenesis
  • Homologous recombination
  • Mismatch repair
  • Non-homologous end joining
  • Nucleotide excision repair
  • Ovary
  • Primordial follicles

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