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Cell Cycle. 2010 Nov 1;9(21):4364-9. Epub 2010 Nov 14.

A novel role for greatwall kinase in recovery from DNA damage.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Pharmacology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, USA.


Activation of the DNA damage response (DDR) is critical for genomic integrity and tumor suppression. The occurrence of DNA damage quickly evokes the DDR through ATM/ATR-dependent signal transduction, which promotes DNA repair and activates the checkpoint to halt cell cycle progression. The "turn off" process of the DDR upon satisfaction of DNA repair, also known as "checkpoint recovery", involves deactivation of DDR elements, but the mechanism is poorly understood. Greatwall kinase (Gwl) has been identified as a key element in the G(2)/M transition and helps maintain M phase through inhibition of PP 2A/B55δ, the principal phosphatase for Cdk-phosphorylated substrates. Here we show that Gwl also promotes recovery from DNA damage and is itself directly inhibited by the DNA damage response (DDR). In Xenopus egg extracts, immunodepletion of Gwl increased the DDR to damaged DNA, whereas addition of wild type, but not kinase dead Gwl, inhibited the DDR. The removal of damaged DNA from egg extracts leads to recovery from checkpoint arrest and entry into mitosis, a process impaired by Gwl depletion and enhanced by Gwl overexpression. Moreover, activation of Cdk1 after the removal of damaged DNA is regulated by Gwl. Collectively, these results defines Gwl as a new regulator of the DDR, which plays an important role in recovery from DNA damage.

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