PerspectiveCell Biology

Guiding ATM to Broken DNA

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Science  22 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5721, pp. 510-511
DOI: 10.1126/science.1112069

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Double-strand breaks induced in DNA by, for example, ionizing radiation are particularly dangerous to mammalian cells. Consequently, these cells depend on an elaborate repair machinery to execute swift and decisive repair of these double-strand breaks. A key player in this machinery is the serine-threonine kinase ATM. In their Perspective, Abraham and Tibbetts explore new insights into the protein complex responsible for detecting DNA double-strand breaks and then activating ATM ( Lee et al .).