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Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;27(19):6948-61. Epub 2007 Jul 30.

The Ulp2 SUMO protease is required for cell division following termination of the DNA damage checkpoint.

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Department of Molecular Biophysics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8114, USA.


Eukaryotic genome integrity is maintained via a DNA damage checkpoint that recognizes DNA damage and halts the cell cycle at metaphase, allowing time for repair. Checkpoint signaling is eventually terminated so that the cell cycle can resume. How cells restart cell division following checkpoint termination is poorly understood. Here we show that the SUMO protease Ulp2 is required for resumption of cell division following DNA damage-induced arrest in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, although it is not required for DNA double-strand break repair. The Rad53 branch of the checkpoint pathway generates a signal countered by Ulp2 activity following DNA damage. Interestingly, unlike previously characterized adaptation mutants, ulp2Delta mutants do not show persistent Rad53 phosphorylation following DNA damage, suggesting checkpoint signaling has been terminated and no longer asserts an arrest in these cells. Using Cdc14 localization as a cell cycle indicator, we show that nearly half of cells lacking Ulp2 can escape a checkpoint-induced metaphase arrest despite their inability to divide again. Moreover, half of permanently arrested ulp2Delta cells show evidence of an aberrant mitotic spindle, suggesting that Ulp2 is required for proper spindle dynamics during cell cycle resumption following a DNA damage-induced cell cycle arrest.

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