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Radiat Res. 2007 Dec;168(6):706-15.

p53-dependent Chk1 phosphorylation is required for maintenance of prolonged G2 Arrest.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California Irvine, School of Medicine, Irvine, California 92697, USA.


Targeting checkpoint kinases has been shown to have a potential chemosensitizing effect in cancer treatment. However, inhibitors of such kinases preferentially abrogate the DNA damage-induced G2 checkpoint in p53-/- as opposed to p53+/+ cells. The mechanisms by which p53 (TP53) can prevent abrogation of the G2 checkpoint are unclear. Using normal human diploid p53+/+ and p53-/- fibroblasts as model systems, we have compared the effects of three checkpoint inhibitors, caffeine, staurosporine and UCN-01, on gamma-radiation-induced G2 arrest. The G2 arrest in p53+/+ cells was abrogated by caffeine, but not by staurosporine and UCN-01, whereas the G2 arrest in p53-/- cells was sensitive to all three inhibitors. Chk2 (CHEK1) phosphorylation was maintained in the presence of all three inhibitors in both p53+/+ and p53-/- cells. Chk1 phosphorylation was maintained only in the presence of staurosporine and UCN-01 in p53+/+ cells. In the presence of caffeine Chk1 phosphorylation was inhibited regardless of p53 status. The pathway of Chk1 phosphorylation --> Cdc25A degradation --> inhibition of cyclin B1/Cdk1 activity --> G2 arrest is accordingly resistant to staurosporine and UCN-01 in p53+/+ cells. Moreover, sustained phosphorylation of Chk1 in the presence of staurosporine and UCN-01 is strongly related to phosphorylation of p53. The present study suggests the unique role of Chk1 in preventing abrogation of the G2 checkpoint in p53+/+ cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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