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J Biol Chem. 2001 Aug 10;276(32):30537-41. Epub 2001 Jun 4.

The hCds1 (Chk2)-FHA domain is essential for a chain of phosphorylation events on hCds1 that is induced by ionizing radiation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics, NHLBI, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1654, USA.


hCds1 (Chk2) is an evolutionarily conserved kinase that functions in DNA damage response and cell cycle checkpoint. The Cds1 family of kinases are activated by a family of large phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-like kinases. In humans, ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) and ataxia-telangiectasia and Rad3-related kinases activate hCds1 by phosphorylating Thr(68) . hCds1 and Cds1-related kinases contain the FHA (forkhead-associated) domain, which appears to be important for integrating the DNA damage signal. It is not known how ATM phosphorylation activates hCds1 function and whether the phosphorylation is linked to the FHA. Here, we demonstrate that the hCds1-FHA domain is essential for Thr(68) phosphorylation. Thr(68) phosphorylation, in turn, is required for ionizing radiation-induced autophosphorylation of two amino acid residues in hCds1, Thr(383) and Thr(387). These two amino acid residues, located in the activation loop of hCds1, are conserved in hCds1-related kinases and are essential for hCds1 activity. Thus, the hCds1-FHA domain mediates a chain of phosphorylation events on hCds1, which includes phosphorylation by ATM and hCds1 autophosphorylation, in response to DNA damage.

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