Table of Contents
ISRN Molecular Biology
Volume 2012, Article ID 146748, 9 pages
Review Article

Central Role of Ubiquitination in Genome Maintenance: DNA Replication and Damage Repair

1Department of Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21231, USA
2Department of Oncology, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20057, USA

Received 28 October 2011; Accepted 16 November 2011

Academic Editors: C. M. Azzalin, H. A. Heus, and A. Montecucco

Copyright © 2012 Soma Ghosh and Tapas Saha. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Faithful transmission of genetic information through generations ensures genomic stability and integrity. However, genetic alterations occur every now and then during the course of genome duplication. In order to repair these genetic defects and lesions, nature has devised several repair pathways which function promptly to prevent the cell from accumulating permanent mutations. These repair mechanisms seem to be significantly impacted by posttranslational modifications of proteins like phosphorylation and ubiquitination. Protein ubiquitination is emerging as a critical regulatory mechanism of DNA damage response. Non-proteolytic, proteasome-independent functions of ubiquitin involving monoubiquitination and polyubiquitination of DNA repair proteins contribute significantly to the signaling of DNA repair pathways. In this paper, we will particularly highlight the work on ubiquitin-mediated signaling in the repair processes involving the Fanconi anemia pathway, translesional synthesis, nucleotide excision repair, and repair of double-strand breaks. We will also discuss the role of ubiquitin ligases in regulating checkpoint mechanisms, the role of deubiquitinating enzymes, and the growing possibilities of therapeutic intervention in this ubiquitin-conjugation system.