Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Jul 31;98(16):9092-7.

ATR inhibition selectively sensitizes G1 checkpoint-deficient cells to lethal premature chromatin condensation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.


Premature chromatin condensation (PCC) is a hallmark of mammalian cells that begin mitosis before completing DNA replication. This lethal event is prevented by a highly conserved checkpoint involving an unknown, caffeine-sensitive mediator. Here, we have examined the possible involvement of the caffeine-sensitive ATM and ATR protein kinases in this checkpoint. We show that caffeine's ability to inhibit ATR (but not ATM) causes PCC, that ATR (but not ATM) prevents PCC, and that ATR prevents PCC via Chk-1 regulation. Moreover, mimicking cancer cell phenotypes by disrupting normal G(1) checkpoints sensitizes cells to PCC by ATR inhibition plus low-dose DNA damage. Notably, loss of p53 function potently sensitizes cells to PCC caused by ATR inhibition by a small molecule. We present a molecular model for how ATR prevents PCC and suggest that ATR represents an attractive therapeutic target for selectively killing cancer cells by premature chromatin condensation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk