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Methods Mol Biol. 2011;782:13-21. doi: 10.1007/978-1-61779-273-1_2.

Studying S-phase DNA damage checkpoints using the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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  • 1Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Slowing of replication in response to DNA damage is a universal response to DNA damage during S-phase. Originally discovered to be defective in checkpoint mutant cells in metazoans, this S-phase DNA damage checkpoint response has been extensively studied in yeast. Unlike other checkpoints that completely arrest cell cycle, the S-phase DNA damage checkpoint slows but does not completely halt replication in response to DNA damage. An analysis of mutants defective in the slowing response requires a sensitive assay to measure this quantitative effect. The use of centrifugal elutriation to synchronize cells and improved techniques in preparing cells for flow cytometry allow for more sensitive and accurate measurement of cells' ability to slow replication in the presence of DNA damage. This chapter describes the use of transient cdc10-M17 temperature sensitive allele arrest and release combined with centrifugal elutriation to synchronize cells in G1. The S-phase progression of these cells is then assayed by flow cytometry of isolated nuclei, which allows sensitive determination of replication kinetics.

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