Double-stranded DNA breaks (DSB) cause bacteria to augment expression of DNA repair and various stress response proteins. A puzzling exception educes the anticodon nuclease (ACNase) RloC, which resembles the DSB responder Rad50 and the antiviral, translation-disabling ACNase PrrC. While PrrC's ACNase is regulated by a DNA restriction-modification (R-M) protein and a phage anti-DNA restriction peptide, RloC has an internal ACNase switch comprising a putative DSB sensor and coupled ATPase. Further exploration of RloC's controls revealed, first, that its ACNase is stabilized by the activating DNA and hydrolysed nucleotide. Second, DSB inducers activated RloC's ACNase in heterologous contexts as well as in a natural host, even when R-M deficient. Third, the DSB-induced activation of the indigenous RloC led to partial and temporary disruption of tRNAGlu and tRNAGln. Lastly, accumulation of CRISPR-derived RNA that occurred in parallel raises the possibility that the adaptive immunity and RloC provide the genotoxicated host with complementary protection from impending infections.