Immortal DNA Strand Hypothesis

The immortal DNA strand hypothesis was proposed in 1975 by John Cairns as a mechanism for adult stem cells to minimize mutations in their genomes. This hypothesis proposes that instead of segregating their DNA during mitosis in a random manner, adult stem cells divide their DNA asymmetrically, and retain a distinct template set of DNA strands (parental strands) in each division. By retaining the same set of template DNA strands, adult stem cells would pass mutations arising from errors in DNA replication on to non-stem cell daughters that soon terminally differentiate (end mitotic divisions and become a functional cell). Passing on these replication errors would allow adult stem cells to reduce their rate of accumulation of mutations that could lead to serious genetic disorders such as cancer.

Although evidence for this mechanism exists, whether it is a mechanism acting in adult stem cells in vivo is still controversial.

Read more about Immortal DNA Strand HypothesisMethods, Evidence, Further Models, Mechanisms

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Immortal DNA Strand Hypothesis - Mechanisms
... However, this work has highly respected biologists among its detractors as exemplified by a further comment on a paper by the same authors from 2006 ... Available free online ...

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