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DNA Repair (Amst). 2007 Jun 1;6(6):742-50. Epub 2007 Feb 9.

ATR signaling mediates an S-phase checkpoint after inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity.

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Laboratory of Structural Biology, NIEHS, National Institutes of Health, 111 T.W. Alexander Dr., Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, USA.


Human fibroblasts, capable of expressing a kinase-dead form of ATR (ATRkd), can be sensitized to the cytotoxic effects of methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) by the PARP inhibitor 4-amino-1,8-naphthalimide (4-AN). The combination of MMS+4-AN results in accumulation of cells in S-phase of the cell cycle and activation of Chk1. Inhibition of ATR activity by expression of ATRkd suppresses the S-phase accumulation and partially reverses the Chk1 phosphorylation. The results confirm involvement of an ATR-mediated damage response pathway in the MMS+4-AN-induced S-phase cell cycle checkpoint in human fibroblasts. Consistent with this hypothesis, the inhibitors caffeine and UCN-01 also abrogate the ATR- and Chk1-mediated delay in progression through S-phase. In the absence of ATR-mediated signaling, MMS+4-AN exposure results in a G(2)/M arrest, rather than an S-phase checkpoint. Thus, whereas ATR mediates the S-phase response, it is not critical for arrest of cells in G(2)/M.

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