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J Cell Sci. 2000 Nov;113 ( Pt 22):3889-96.

Chk1 and Cds1: linchpins of the DNA damage and replication checkpoint pathways.

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Departments of Molecular Biology and Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Recent work on the mechanisms of DNA damage and replication cell cycle checkpoints has revealed great similarity between the checkpoint pathways of organisms as diverse as yeasts, flies and humans. However, there are differences in the ways these organisms regulate their cell cycles. To connect the conserved checkpoint pathways with various cell cycle targets requires an adaptable link that can target different cell cycle components in different organisms. The Chk1 and Cds1 protein kinases, downstream effectors in the checkpoint pathways, seem to play just such roles. Perhaps more surprisingly, the two kinases not only have different targets in different organisms but also seem to respond to different signals in different organisms. So, whereas in fission yeast Chk1 is required for the DNA damage checkpoint and Cds1 is specifically involved in the replication checkpoint, their roles seem to be shuffled in metazoans.

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