DNA double-strand break (DSB) signaling and repair are critical for genome integrity. They rely on highly coordinated processes including posttranslational modifications of proteins. Here we show that Pellino1 (Peli1) is a DSB-responsive ubiquitin ligase required for the accumulation of DNA damage response proteins and efficient homologous recombination (HR) repair. Peli1 is activated by ATM-mediated phosphorylation. It is recruited to DSB sites in ATM- and γH2AX-dependent manners. Interaction of Peli1 with phosphorylated histone H2AX enables it to bind to and mediate the formation of K63-linked ubiquitination of NBS1, which subsequently results in feedback activation of ATM and promotes HR repair. Collectively, these results provide a DSB-responsive factor underlying the connection between ATM kinase and DSB-induced ubiquitination.