GammaH2AX and its role in DNA double-strand break repair

Biochem Cell Biol. 2006 Aug;84(4):568-77. doi: 10.1139/o06-072.


One of the earliest responses to a DNA double-strand break (DSB) is the carboxy-terminal phosphorylation of budding yeast H2A (metazoan histone H2AX) to create gammaH2A (or gammaH2AX). This chromatin modification stretches more than tens of kilobases around the DSB and has been proposed to play numerous roles in break recognition and repair, although it may not be the primary signal for many of these events. Studies suggest that gammaH2A(X) has 2 more direct roles: (i) to recruit cohesin around the DSB, and (ii) to maintain a checkpoint arrest. Recent work has identified other factors, including chromatin remodelers and protein phosphatases, which target gammaH2A(X) and regulate DSB repair/recovery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA
  • DNA Breaks, Double-Stranded*
  • DNA Repair*
  • Histones / genetics*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Models, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism


  • Histones
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • gammaH2AX protein, S cerevisiae
  • DNA