DNA damage

DNA can be damaged by radiation, ultraviolet light, alkylating agents, hydrogen ions, and hydroxy radicals. A poor diet also may lead to DNA damage.

DNA damage leads to a change in the molecular structure of the DNA that can result in a change in the genetic information. The following are some examples of DNA damage:

  • Deamination, depurination, and depyrimidination of bases

  • Oxidative damage

  • Alkylation of bases

  • Single or double-strand breaks

Double-strand breaks are the most dangerous because they affect both DNA strands and can lead to the loss of genetic material.