Table of Contents
Molecular Biology International
Volume 2012, Article ID 141732, 11 pages
Review Article

RASSF Signalling and DNA Damage: Monitoring the Integrity of the Genome?

Department of Oncology, The Gray Institute, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7DQ, UK

Received 3 November 2011; Accepted 27 January 2012

Academic Editor: Geoffrey J. Clark

Copyright © 2012 Simon F. Scrace and Eric O'Neill. 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 RASSF family of proteins has been extensively studied in terms of their genetics, structure and function. One of the functions that has been increasingly studied is the role of the RASSF proteins in the DNA damage response. Surprisingly, this research, which encompasses both the classical and N-terminal RASSF proteins, has revealed an involvement of the RASSFs in oncogenic pathways as well as the more familiar tumour suppressor pathways usually associated with the RASSF family members. The most studied protein with respect to DNA damage is RASSF1A, which has been shown, not only to be activated by ATM, a major regulator of the DNA damage response, but also to bind to and activate a number of different pathways which all lead to and feedback from the guardian of the genome, p53. In this review we discuss the latest research linking the RASSF proteins to DNA damage signalling and maintenance of genomic integrity and look at how this knowledge is being utilised in the clinic to enhance the effectiveness of traditional cancer therapies such as radiotherapy.