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Cancer Cell. 2003 Mar;3(3):247-58.

Chk1 regulates the S phase checkpoint by coupling the physiological turnover and ionizing radiation-induced accelerated proteolysis of Cdc25A.

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Danish Cancer Society, Institute of Cancer Biology, Strandboulevarden 49, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark.


Chk1 kinase coordinates cell cycle progression and preserves genome integrity. Here, we show that chemical or genetic ablation of human Chk1 triggered supraphysiological accumulation of the S phase-promoting Cdc25A phosphatase, prevented ionizing radiation (IR)-induced degradation of Cdc25A, and caused radioresistant DNA synthesis (RDS). The basal turnover of Cdc25A operating in unperturbed S phase required Chk1-dependent phosphorylation of serines 123, 178, 278, and 292. IR-induced acceleration of Cdc25A proteolysis correlated with increased phosphate incorporation into these residues generated by a combined action of Chk1 and Chk2 kinases. Finally, phosphorylation of Chk1 by ATM was required to fully accelerate the IR-induced degradation of Cdc25A. Our results provide evidence that the mammalian S phase checkpoint functions via amplification of physiologically operating, Chk1-dependent mechanisms.

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