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Cell. 2005 Jul 1;121(7):973-6.

Complicated tails: histone modifications and the DNA damage response.

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  • 1Cancer Research Institute, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California, San Francisco 94115, USA.


In recent years, several ATP-dependent chromatin-remodeling complexes and covalent histone modifications have been implicated in the response to double-stranded DNA breaks (DSBs). When a DSB occurs, cells must identify the DSB, activate the DNA damage checkpoint, and repair the break. Chromatin modification appears to be important but not essential for each of these processes, yet its precise mechanistic roles are only beginning to come into focus. Here, we discuss the role of chromatin in signaling by the DNA damage checkpoint pathway.

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