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J Biol Chem. 2010 May 14;285(20):15653-61. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.096156. Epub 2010 Mar 21.

Rad9A is required for G2 decatenation checkpoint and to prevent endoreduplication in response to topoisomerase II inhibition.

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Cancer Research Institute, Division of Cancer Biology and Genetics, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada.


The Rad9A checkpoint protein interacts with and is required for proper localization of topoisomerase II-binding protein 1 (TopBP1) in response to DNA damage. Topoisomerase II (Topo II), another binding partner of TopBP1, decatenates sister chromatids that become intertwined during replication. Inhibition of Topo II by ICRF-193 (meso-4,4'-(3,2-butanediyl)-bis-(2,6-piperazinedione)), a catalytic inhibitor that does not induce DNA double-strand breaks, causes a mitotic delay known as the G(2) decatenation checkpoint. Here, we demonstrate that this checkpoint, dependent on ATR and BRCA1, also requires Rad9A. Analysis of different Rad9A phosphorylation mutants suggests that these modifications are required to prevent endoreduplication and to maintain decatenation checkpoint arrest. Furthermore, Rad9A Ser(272) is phosphorylated in response to Topo II inhibition. ICRF-193 treatment also causes phosphorylation of an effector kinase downstream of Rad9A in the DNA damage checkpoint pathway, Chk2, at Thr(68). Both of these sites are major targets of phosphorylation by the ATM kinase, although it has previously been shown that ATM is not required for the decatenation checkpoint. Examination of ataxia telangectasia (A-T) cells demonstrates that ATR does not compensate for ATM loss, suggesting that phosphorylation of Rad9A and Chk2 by ATM plays an additional role in response to Topo II inhibition than checkpoint function alone. Finally, we have shown that murine embryonic stem cells deficient for Rad9A have higher levels of catenated mitotic spreads than wild-type counterparts. Together, these results emphasize the importance of Rad9A in preserving genomic integrity in the presence of catenated chromosomes and all types of DNA aberrations.

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