Cells possess an armamentarium of DNA repair pathways to counter DNA damage and prevent mutagenesis. Over the past 10 years, initially collaborating with the Sanger Center, we have used C. elegans, scanning through >3000 genomes to systematically investigate how mutagenesis is defined by the interplay of primary DNA damage and multiple repair processes (10.1038/s41467-020-15912-7; DOI: 10.1101/gr.226845.117, doi: 10.1101/gr.175547.114).
I will focus on our recent unpublished data using a large isogenic set of human DNA repair and damage response defective cell lines and our analysis of 500 genomes. Our results explain one of the mutational signatures associated with aging. Furthermore, I will discuss the multilayered response of cells to the methylating chemotherapeutic agent temozolomide (TMZ), which is used for treating glioblastomas. Our results allow us to correlate cell death, DNA repair status, and mutagenic signatures.