What goes on must come off: phosphatases gate-crash the DNA damage response

Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Nov;36(11):569-77. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2011.08.007. Epub 2011 Sep 18.


DNA-damage-induced phospho-signaling has been studied for decades, with a focus mainly on initiation of the signaling cascade, and the kinases activated by DNA lesions. It is widely accepted that the balance of phosphorylation needs to be restored and/or maintained by phosphatases, yet there have only been sporadic efforts to investigate the impact of phosphatases on DNA repair. Recent advances in phosphoproteomic strategies and implementation of large genetic screens indicate that these enzymes play pivotal roles in these signaling networks. Dephosphorylation of repair proteins is crucial for efficient DNA repair, and the recommencement of cell division post-repair. Here, we focus on serine/threonine phosphatases implicated in dephosphorylation of DNA repair factors, summarizing recent findings and speculating on untested roles of phosphatases in the DNA damage response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage*
  • Humans
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Signal Transduction


  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases