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EMBO J. 2004 Nov 24;23(23):4660-9. Epub 2004 Nov 11.

Interaction between human MCM7 and Rad17 proteins is required for replication checkpoint signaling.

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Program in Signal Transduction Research, Cancer Research Center, The Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Human Rad17 (hRad17) is centrally involved in the activation of cell-cycle checkpoints by genotoxic agents or replication stress. Here we identify hMCM7, a core component of the DNA replication apparatus, as a novel hRad17-interacting protein. In HeLa cells, depletion of either hRad17 or hMCM7 with small-interfering RNA suppressed ultraviolet (UV) light- or aphidicolin-induced hChk1 phosphorylation, and abolished UV-induced S-phase checkpoint activation. Similar results were obtained after transfection of these cells with a fusion protein containing the hMCM7-binding region of hRad17. The hMCM7-depleted cells were also defective for the formation of ATR-containing nuclear foci after UV irradiation, suggesting that hMCM7 is required for stable recruitment of ATR to damaged DNA. These results demonstrate that hMCM7 plays a direct role in the transmission of DNA damage signals from active replication forks to the S-phase checkpoint machinery in human cells.

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