Ubiquitylation and sumoylation, the covalent attachment of the polypeptides ubiquitin and SUMO, respectively, to target proteins, are pervasive mechanisms for controlling cellular functions. Here, we summarize the key steps and enzymes involved in ubiquitin and SUMO conjugation and provide an overview of how they are crucial for maintaining genome stability. Specifically, we review research that has revealed how ubiquitylation and sumoylation regulate and coordinate various pathways of DNA damage recognition, signaling, and repair at the biochemical, cellular, and whole-organism levels. In addition to providing key insights into the control and importance of DNA repair and associated processes, such work has established paradigms for regulatory control that are likely to extend to other cellular processes and that may provide opportunities for better understanding and treatment of human disease.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.