Cells are constantly suffering genotoxic stresses that affect the integrity of our genetic material. Genotoxic insults must be repaired to avoid the loss or inappropriate transmission of the genetic information, a situation that could lead to the appearance of developmental abnormalities and tumorigenesis. To combat this threat, eukaryotic cells have evolved a set of sophisticated molecular mechanisms that are collectively known as the DNA damage response (DDR). This surveillance system controls several aspects of the cellular response, including the detection of lesions, a temporary cell cycle arrest, and the repair of the broken DNA. While the regulation of the DDR by numerous kinases has been well documented over the last decade, the complex roles of protein dephosphorylation have only recently begun to be investigated. Here, we review recent progress in the characterization of DDR-related protein phosphatases during the response to a DNA lesion, focusing mainly on their ability to modulate the DNA damage checkpoint and the repair of the damaged DNA. We also discuss their protein composition and structure, target specificity, and biochemical regulation along the different stages encompassed in the DDR. The compilation of this information will allow us to better comprehend the physiological significance of protein dephosphorylation in the maintenance of genome integrity and cell viability in response to genotoxic stress.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited