Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have emerged as regulators of various biological processes, but to which extent lncRNAs play a role in genome integrity maintenance is not well understood. In this issue of EMBO Reports, Sharma et al  identify the DNA damage-induced lncRNA DDSR1 as an integral player of the DNA damage response (DDR). DDSR1 has both an early role by modulating repair pathway choices, and a later function when it regulates gene expression. Sharma et al  thus uncover a dual role for a hitherto uncharacterized lncRNA during the cellular response to DNA damage.
© 2015 The Authors.