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J Cell Biol. 2010 Mar 8;188(5):629-38. doi: 10.1083/jcb.200905059. Epub 2010 Mar 1.

Regulators of cyclin-dependent kinases are crucial for maintaining genome integrity in S phase.

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  • 1Biotech Research and Innovation Centre, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark.


Maintenance of genome integrity is of critical importance to cells. To identify key regulators of genomic integrity, we screened a human cell line with a kinome small interfering RNA library. WEE1, a major regulator of mitotic entry, and CHK1 were among the genes identified. Both kinases are important negative regulators of CDK1 and -2. Strikingly, WEE1 depletion rapidly induced DNA damage in S phase in newly replicated DNA, which was accompanied by a marked increase in single-stranded DNA. This DNA damage is dependent on CDK1 and -2 as well as the replication proteins MCM2 and CDT1 but not CDC25A. Conversely, DNA damage after CHK1 inhibition is highly dependent on CDC25A. Furthermore, the inferior proliferation of CHK1-depleted cells is improved substantially by codepletion of CDC25A. We conclude that the mitotic kinase WEE1 and CHK1 jointly maintain balanced cellular control of Cdk activity during normal DNA replication, which is crucial to prevent the generation of harmful DNA lesions during replication.

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