DNA metabolic events such as replication, repair and recombination require the concerted action of several enzymes and cofactors. Nature has provided a set of proteins that support DNA polymerases in performing processive, accurate and rapid DNA synthesis. Two of them, the proliferating cell nuclear antigen and its adapter protein replication factor C, cooperate to form a moving platform that was initially thought of only as an anchor point for DNA polymerases delta and epsilon. It now appears that proliferating cell nuclear antigen is also a communication point between a variety of important cellular processes including cell cycle control, DNA replication, nucleotide excision repair, post-replication mismatch repair, base excision repair and at least one apoptotic pathway. The dynamic movement of proliferating cell nuclear antigen on and off the DNA renders this protein an ideal communicator for a variety of proteins that are essential for DNA metabolic events in eukaryotic cells.