Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1)-short is a splice variant and endogenous inhibitor of Chk1 that regulates cell cycle and DNA damage checkpoints

Navjotsingh Pabla, Kirti Bhatt, Zheng Dong

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41 Scopus citations


Checkpoint kinase 1 (Chk1) is a key regulator of checkpoint signaling in both the unperturbed cell cycle and DNA damage response. Under these conditions, Chk1 becomes active to prevent premature CDK1 activation and mitotic entry until DNA is properly replicated or repaired. It is unclear how Chk1 activity is controlled in the unperturbed cell cycle. During DNA damage, Chk1 is activated by ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related (ATR)-mediated phosphorylation; however, it is not entirely clear how this phosphorylation results in Chk1 activation. Here we report an N-terminally truncated alternative splice variant of Chk1, Chk1-S. Importantly,we showthat Chk1-S is an endogenous repressor and regulator of Chk1. In the unperturbed cell cycle, Chk1-S interacts with and antagonizes Chk1 to promote the S-to-G2/M phase transition. During DNA damage, Chk1 is phosphorylated, which disrupts the Chk1-Chk1-S interaction, resulting in free, active Chk1 to arrest the cell cycle and facilitate DNA repair. Higher levels of Chk1-S are expressed, along with Chk1, in fetal and cancer tissues than in normal tissues. However, forced overexpression of Chk1-S in cultured cells and tumor xenografts induces prematuremitotic entry,mitotic catastrophe, and reduction of tumor growth. The identification of Chk1-S as a unique splice variant and key regulator of Chk1 provides insights into cell cycle regulation and DNA damage response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-202
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 3 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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