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Mutat Res. 2017 Oct;803-805:43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Jul 21.

Balancing act: To be, or not to be ubiquitylated.

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Life Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Shiga, 525-8577, Japan. Electronic address:


DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are one of the most deleterious DNA lesions. Appropriate repair of DSB either by homologous recombination or non-homologous end-joining is critical for maintaining genome stability and fitness. DSB repair cooperates with cellular signalling networks, namely DSB response (DDR), which plays pivotal roles in the choice of DSB repair pathway, orchestrating recruitment of DDR factors to site of damage, transcription suppression and cell cycle checkpoint activation. It has been revealed that these mechanisms are strictly regulated, in time and space, by complex and minute ubiquitylation-mediated reactions. Furthermore, balancing the ubiquitylation status of the DDR and DSB repair proteins by deubiquitylation, which is carried out by deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs), is also found to be important. Recent findings have uncovered that DUBs are involved in various aspects of both DDR and DSB repair by counteracting non-proteolytic ubiquitylations in addition to protecting substrates from proteasomal degradation by removing proteolytic ubiquitylation. An advanced understanding of the detailed molecular mechanisms of the "balancing act" between ubiquitylation and deubiquitylation will provide novel therapeutic targets for diseases caused by dysfunction of DDR and DSB repair.


DNA damage response; DNA double-strand breaks; DNA repair; Deubiquitylation; Ubiquitylation

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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