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The DNA damage-dependent intra–S phase checkpoint is regulated by parallel pathways

Nature Genetics volume 30, pages 290294 (2002) | Download Citation

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Abstract

To preserve genetic integrity, mammalian cells exposed to ionizing radiation activate the ATM kinase, which initiates a complex response—including the S-phase checkpoint pathways—to delay DNA replication1,2. Defects in ATM or its substrates Nbs1 or Chk2 (ref. 3), the Nbs1-interacting Mre11 protein4, or the Chk2-regulated Cdc25A-Cdk2 cascade all cause radio-resistant DNA synthesis (RDS)5,6. It is unknown, however, whether these proteins operate in a common signaling cascade. Here we show that experimental blockade of either the Nbs1-Mre11 function or the Chk2-triggered events leads to a partial RDS phenotype in human cells. In contrast, concomitant interference with Nbs1-Mre11 and the Chk2-Cdc25A-Cdk2 pathways entirely abolishes inhibition of DNA synthesis induced by ionizing radiation, resulting in complete RDS analogous to that caused by defective ATM. In addition, Cdk2-dependent loading of Cdc45 onto replication origins, a prerequisite for recruitment of DNA polymerase7,8, was prevented upon irradiation of normal or Nbs1/Mre11-defective cells but not cells with defective ATM. We conclude that in response to ionizing radiation, phosphorylations of Nbs1 and Chk2 by ATM trigger two parallel branches of the DNA damage-dependent S-phase checkpoint that cooperate by inhibiting distinct steps of DNA replication.

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Acknowledgements

We thank J. Mendez, I. Kukimoto, Y. Shiloh, D. Delia, S. J. Elledge, M.B. Kastan and G. Evan for providing technical advice and reagents, and the Danish Cancer Society and Læge Sofus Carl Emil Friis og Hustru Olga Doris Friis's Legat for financial support. This work was supported in part by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (to J.H.J.P.).

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Affiliations

  1. Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Strandboulevarden 49, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark.

    • Jacob Falck
    • , Jiri Lukas
    •  & Jiri Bartek
  2. University of Wisconsin Medical School, Genetics Building, 445 Henry Mall, Madison, Wisconsin 53706, USA.

    • John H.J. Petrini
    •  & Bret R. Williams

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Correspondence to Jiri Bartek.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/ng845

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