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Mol Microbiol. 2008 Apr;68(2):246-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06147.x.

Rad3 and Sty1 function in Schizosaccharomyces pombe: an integrated response to DNA damage and environmental stress?

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Lundberg Laboratory, Göteborg University, PO Box 462, S-405 30, Göteborg, Sweden.


In Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the Ataxia Telangiectasia-mutated (Atm)/Atm and Rad 3 Related (Atr) homologue Rad3 is an essential regulator of the response to DNA damage and stalled replication forks. Rad3 activates the downstream kinases Chk1 and Cds1. These kinases in turn inhibit cell cycle progression by mediating Cdc2 phosphorylation. Studies in both yeast and mammalian cells suggest additional roles for Rad3 in regulating cellular responses to environmental stress. In S. pombe, cellular responses to various environmental stresses are regulated primarily through the stress-activated MAP kinase p38 homologue Sty1. An important function of Sty1 is to drive cells rapidly through mitosis by facilitating the accumulation of Cdc25. Interestingly, Sty1 is activated simultaneously with Rad3 following exposure to UV radiation or ionizing radiation (IR). Similarly, exposure to environmental stresses induces the expression of rad3(+), cds1(+) and other checkpoint regulator genes. It is currently unclear how the pathways regulated by Sty1 and Rad3 and their opposing effects on mitosis are integrated. Recent studies suggest that Sty1 and Rad3 function together to regulate the expression of several stress response genes following exposure to IR. In this review, we discuss current knowledge on the interaction of Rad3/Atm and Sty1/p38 in regulating cellular responses to environmental stress and DNA damage.

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