ATR: a master conductor of cellular responses to DNA replication stress

Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Mar;36(3):133-40. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.09.005. Epub 2010 Oct 12.


The integrity of the genome is constantly challenged by intrinsic and extrinsic genotoxic stresses that damage DNA. The cellular responses to DNA damage are orchestrated by DNA damage signaling pathways, also known as DNA damage checkpoints. These signaling pathways play crucial roles in detecting DNA damage, regulating DNA repair and coordinating DNA repair with other cellular processes. In vertebrates, the ATM- and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase plays a key role in the response to a broad spectrum of DNA damage and DNA replication stress. Here, we will discuss the recent findings on how ATR is activated by DNA damage and how it protects the genome against interference with DNA replication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Damage / genetics
  • DNA Damage / physiology
  • DNA Repair / genetics
  • DNA Repair / physiology
  • DNA Replication / genetics
  • DNA Replication / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • ATR protein, human
  • Ataxia Telangiectasia Mutated Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases