DNA damage causes cell-cycle delay before S phase, during replication and before mitosis. This involves a number of highly conserved proteins that sense DNA damage and signal the cell-cycle machinery. Kinases that were initially discovered in yeast model systems have recently been shown to regulate the regulators of cyclin-dependent kinases and to control the stability of p53. This shows the importance of checkpoint proteins for maintaining genome stability. Here, we discuss recent data from yeast and metazoans that suggest a remarkable conservation of the organization of the G2 DNA-damage checkpoint pathway.