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Mol Cell. 2000 Sep;6(3):649-59.

Reconstitution of an ATM-dependent checkpoint that inhibits chromosomal DNA replication following DNA damage.

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Department of Genetics and Development, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Cell cycle checkpoints lead to the inhibition of cell cycle progression following DNA damage. A cell-free system derived from Xenopus eggs has been established that reconstitutes the checkpoint pathway inhibiting DNA replication initiation. DNA containing double-strand breaks inhibits replication initiation in a dose-dependent manner. Upon checkpoint activation, a prereplicative complex is assembled that contains ORC, Cdc6, Cdc7, and MCM proteins but lacks Cdc45. The checkpoint is ATM dependent. Cdk2/CyclinE acts downstream of ATM and is downregulated by Cdk2 phosphorylation on tyrosine 15. Cdk2AF/CyclinE is refractory to checkpoint signaling, and Cdc25A overrides the checkpoint and restores DNA replication. This report provides the description of a DNA damage checkpoint pathway that prevents the onset of S phase independently of the transcriptional function of p53 in a vertebrate organism.

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