Timely repair of DNA double-strand break (DSB) entails coordination with the local higher order chromatin structure and its transaction activities, including transcription. Recent studies are uncovering how DSBs trigger transient suppression of nearby transcription to permit faithful DNA repair, failing of which leads to elevated chromosomal aberrations and cell hypersensitivity to DNA damage. Here, we summarize the molecular bases for transcriptional control during DSB metabolism, and discuss how the exquisite coordination between the two DNA-templated processes may underlie maintenance of genome stability and cell homeostasis.

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