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Genes Dev. 2006 Nov 15;20(22):3117-29. Epub 2006 Nov 3.

DTL/CDT2 is essential for both CDT1 regulation and the early G2/M checkpoint.

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Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139, USA.


Checkpoint genes maintain genomic stability by arresting cells after DNA damage. Many of these genes also control cell cycle events in unperturbed cells. By conducting a screen for checkpoint genes in zebrafish, we found that dtl/cdt2 is an essential component of the early, radiation-induced G2/M checkpoint. We subsequently found that dtl/cdt2 is required for normal cell cycle control, primarily to prevent rereplication. Both the checkpoint and replication roles are conserved in human DTL. Our data indicate that the rereplication reflects a requirement for DTL in regulating CDT1, a protein required for prereplication complex formation. CDT1 is degraded in S phase to prevent rereplication, and following DNA damage to prevent origin firing. We show that DTL associates with the CUL4-DDB1 E3 ubiquitin ligase and is required for CDT1 down-regulation in unperturbed cells and following DNA damage. The cell cycle defects of Dtl-deficient zebrafish are suppressed by reducing Cdt1 levels. In contrast, the early G2/M checkpoint defect appears to be Cdt1-independent. Thus, DTL promotes genomic stability through two distinct mechanisms. First, it is an essential component of the CUL4-DDB1 complex that controls CDT1 levels, thereby preventing rereplication. Second, it is required for the early G2/M checkpoint.

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