A better understanding of the mechanisms of DNA interstrand cross-link repair can lead to more effective strategies for the treatment of cancer and/or the design of drugs that produce interstrand crosslinks that can evade repair. This review focuses on DNA interstrand crosslinks for which there is a substantial body of information about their repair. These include interstrand cross-links produced by nitrogen mustards, mitomycin C, platinum compounds and psoralen. First, the formation and structures of these crosslinks are described. Second, the mechanism of repair of these cross-links as derived from both genetic studies and experiments in cell-free systems is discussed as they occur in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms.
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