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.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.