Defects in DNA repair have been extensively linked to neurodegenerative diseases, but the exact mechanisms remain poorly understood. We found that FUS, an RNA/DNA-binding protein that has been linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, is important for the DNA damage response (DDR). The function of FUS in DDR involved a direct interaction with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), and the recruitment of FUS to double-stranded break sites was important for proper DDR signaling. Notably, FUS proteins carrying familial ALS mutations were defective in DDR and DNA repair and showed a diminished interaction with HDAC1. Moreover, we observed increased DNA damage in human ALS patients harboring FUS mutations. Our findings suggest that an impaired DDR and DNA repair may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases linked to FUS mutations.