Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ELG1 is a conserved gene uncovered in a number of genetic screens in yeast aimed at identifying factors important in the maintenance of genome stability. Elg1's activity prevents gross chromosomal rearrangements, maintains proper telomere length regulation, helps repairing DNA damage created by a number of genotoxins and participates in sister chromatid cohesion. Elg1 is evolutionarily conserved, and its mammalian ortholog (also known as ATAD5) is embryonic lethal when lost in mice, acts as a tumor suppressor in mice and humans, exhibits physical interactions with components of the human Fanconi Anemia pathway and may be responsible for some of the phenotypes associated with neurofibromatosis. In this review, we summarize the information available on Elg1-related activities in yeast and mammals, and present models to explain how the different phenotypes observed in the absence of Elg1 activity are related.