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ISRN Molecular Biology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 627596, 9 pages
Review Article

The Tousled-Like Kinases as Guardians of Genome Integrity

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Feist-Weiller Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA

Received 10 April 2012; Accepted 2 May 2012

Academic Editors: Y.-K. Jang, Y. B. Lebedev, and A. J. Molenaar

Copyright © 2012 Arrigo De Benedetti. 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.


The Tousled-like kinases (TLKs) function in processes of chromatin assembly, including replication, transcription, repair, and chromosome segregation. TLKs interact specifically (and phosphorylate) with the chromatin assembly factor Asf1, a histone H3-H4 chaperone, histone H3 itself at Ser10, and also Rad9, a key protein involved in DNA repair and cell cycle signaling following DNA damage. These interactions are believed to be responsible for the action of TLKs in double-stranded break repair and radioprotection and also in the propagation of the DNA damage response. Hence, I propose that TLKs play key roles in maintenance of genome integrity in many organisms of both kingdoms. In this paper, I highlight key issues of the known roles of these proteins, particularly in the context of DNA repair (IR and UV), their possible relevance to genome integrity and cancer development, and as possible targets for intervention in cancer management.