92
Aging and Sex, DNA Repair in
while in bacteria and viruses it occurs dur-
ing less complex, but similar, processes.
Mutations are another type of error
in DNA in addition to damage. Unlike
damages, mutations cannot be recognized
by repair enzymes. Mutations, however,
can be masked when information from two
unrelated individuals (parents) is brought
together through fertilization to form the
progeny zygote. Thus, the outcrossing
aspect of the sexual cycle in diploid
organisms appears to be maintained by the
advantage of masking mutations. Overall,
aging appears to be a consequence of
the accumulation of DNA damage, and
sex appears to be an adaptation for the
removal of damage through enhanced
recombinational repair and the masking
of mutations through outcrossing.
Sexual communication probably arose
in bacteria as an adaptation to promote
DNA transfer in order to allow recombina-
tional repair of damages in DNA. Sexual
communication is probably maintained in
organisms with a distinct diploid stage
of their life cycle by (1) the advantages
of recombinational repair during meiosis,
(2) outcrossing that facilitates complemen-
tation of recessive deleterious mutations,
and (3) mate selection for Ftness.
See also
DNA Repair in Yeast;
±emale Reproductive System; Ge-
netics, Molecular Basis of; Male
Reproductive System.
Bibliography
Books and Reviews
Alexander, P. (1967) The role of DNA lesions in
processes leading to aging in mice,
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Ames, B.N.,
Gold, L.S.
(1991)
Endogenous
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Mutat. Res.
250
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Arking, R. (1998)
Biology of Aging; Observations
and Principles
, Sinauer Associates, Sunder-
land, MA.
Bernstein, C., Bernstein, H. (1991)
Aging, Sex
and DNA Repair
, Academic Press, San Diego.
Bernstein, C., Bernstein, H., Payne, C. (1999)
Cell Immortality: Maintenance of Cell Division
Potential, in: Macieira-Coelho, A. (Ed.)
Progress
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Immortalization
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Bernstein, H., Hopf, ±.A., Michod, R.E. (1987)
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Darwin, C. (1889)
The Effects of Cross and Self
Fertilization in the Vegetable Kingdom
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Michod, R.E.,
Levin, B.R.
(Eds.)
(1988)
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, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA.
Primary Literature
Anson, R.M., Bohr, V.A. (2000) Mitochondria,
oxidative DNA damage, and aging,
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